On the "O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) condemned Democrats for "choosing to stand with convicted felons like the murderer of Kate Steinle rather than with the American people."
In his exchange with host Bill O'Reilly, Cruz discussed the Democrats' vote to block "Kate's Law," the measure named after Steinle that would impose a mandatory five-year sentence to any illegal immigrant that is deported and then found to have illegally returned to the U.S. Steinle was murdered by an convicted felon, multi-time deported illegal immigrant who was sheltered by San Francisco, a "sanctuary city."
Cruz, who introduced Kate's Law to the Senate, explained to O'Reilly that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) unwisely chose to tie the law to a measure that would block federal funding to sanctuary cities.Predictably, the Democrats voted in lock step (joined by one Republican, Illinois’ Mark Kirk), blocking the two measures Tuesday by a vote of 54-45.
O'Reilly noted that when he reached out to McConnell to ask why he'd bind Kate's Law to the sanctuary city vote, he got no response.
Cruz argued that while there was some value in the vote Tuesday, in the end it was only a "show vote." The way to successfully pass Kate's Law, Cruz said, is to force Democrats' hands by tying it to "must-pass legislation," like the continuing resolution, an omnibus appropriations bill, or the debt ceiling.
O'Reilly pressed on the importance of voting on Kate's Law as a stand alone to "put pressure on the other side" and show the American people who was voting to protect felons.
Cruz agreed, underscoring that he has been calling for a stand alone vote all along. When Kate Steinle's family testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cruz said he urged Senate Democrats to look her family in the eyes "and explain why they are choosing to stand with convicted felons like the murderer of Kate Steinle rather than with the American people—the people we should be standing and protecting."
O'Reilly has been a strong advocate for Kate's Law, at one point going head-to-head with pro-illegal immigrant Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over the issue, a debate that resulted in O'Reilly telling "activist" Ramos it was time to admit that he's "not a newsman anymore."
A recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies found that there are currently around 340 "sanctuary" jurisdictions, which openly defy federal law by protecting criminal illegal immigrants from deportation "by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede open communication and information exchanges between their employees or officers and federal immigration agents."
As The Daily Wire has argued, the Democrats' defense of the illegal practices of sanctuary cities makes clear that identity politics and expanding the electorate are more important to the party than federal law—a particularly hypocritical stance for a party that calls ceaselessly for a stronger and stronger centralized government.