Right-Wing Media Use Murder Of San Francisco Woman To Defend Trump's Immigrant Smear

Conservative media jumped on reports that an undocumented immigrant from Mexico allegedly shot and killed a San Francisco woman in order to defend presidential candidate Donald Trump's incendiary remarks that Mexican immigrants are criminals and “rapists.”

Undocumented Mexican Immigrant Accused In Murder Of San Francisco Woman 

Undocumented Immigrant Admits To Shooting Kate Steinle While She Strolled On San Francisco Pier. On July 1, a San Francisco woman named Kate Steinle was shot at Pier 14. The alleged shooter, Francisco Sanchez, later admitted to the shooting in an interview with ABC7. Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant with seven previous felony charges, who has previously been deported five times. [ABC News, 7/3/15] [ABC7 News, 7/6/15]

2016 Contender Donald Trump Previously Slammed Mexican Immigrants As “Rapists,” Criminals

Trump: “When Mexico Sends Its People ...They're Bringing Drugs. They're Bringing Crime. They're Rapists.” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” saying that “the U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems” during his campaign announcement speech on June 16:

TRUMP: The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.

Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people. [Time, 6/16/15]

Right-Wing Media: Murder Validates Trump's Characterization Of Mexican Immigrants

Fox's Steve Doocy On San Francisco Murder:  Trump Was Talking “About Our Southern Border And How, You Know, Something's Got To Be Done.” On the July 6 edition of Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy discussed the San Francisco murder and said, “This guy, Bret, was not supposed to be in the United States. And you know, whether you like Donald Trump or you don't like Donald Trump, he's talking about this particular issue, about our southern border and how, you know, something's got to be done.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends7/6/15]

Fox's Tantaros: Trump Was “Pounded Down” For Immigration Comments. "Now We Have A Story Like This." On the July 6 edition of Outnumbered, host Andrea Tantaros said of Trump: “The debate last week was anyone who spoke up about illegal immigration or deportation or sealing the border was pounded down by NBC and by stores like Macy's -- we all know who I'm talking about. Now we have story like this” murder. [Fox News, Outnumbered7/6/15]

Rush Limbaugh: Alleged Murderer Is “Exactly The Kind Of Guy Donald Trump Was Talking About.” On the July 6 edition of his radio program, Rush Limbaugh claimed Sanchez is “exactly the kind of guy Donald Trump was talking about. Exactly.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show7/6/15]

American Thinker: San Francisco Murder “Is Validating The Argument Of Donald Trump.” In a July 4 blog post, the conservative American Thinker wrote:

The horrific murder of a pretty young woman by an illegal alien at a prime tourist location in San Francisco is validating the argument of Donald Trump on the influx of violent criminals, and causing at least some local media reflection in arguably the nation's most politically correct city.  [American Thinker7/4/15]

The American Spectator: Trump Spoke “Hard, Documented Fact” About Immigrants, “Illustrated By” This Murder. In The American Spectator, former Reagan White House political director Jeffrey Lord claimed that Trump's “mere recitation of hard, documented fact when it comes to illegal immigration and crime” had been “vividly and outrageously illustrated by (yet again) the murder of Kathryn Steinle”:

Yet in the world of Republican presidential candidates there is Donald Trump calling repeated attention to the fact that illegal immigrants are in fact pouring over our southern borders and, exactly as he has said, committing serious crimes. This is a fact -- a well and easily documented fact long before the real Kathryn Steinle lost her life at the hands of an illegal immigrant. And -- yes, let's say it -- that illegal immigrant had his freedom to murder because of liberals who made San Francisco a sanctuary for criminals. And lets [sic] not forget the President of the United States who encouraged illegals to think they could come here illegally in the first place. [The American Spectator7/6/15]

But Studies Show Immigrants Are Less Likely To Commit Crime Than Native-Born Americans 

Study: Crime Rates Higher Among Native-Born Americans Than Immigrants. A 2013 study in Criminology and Delinquency found that “first-generation immigrants commit crime at a lower rate than second-generation and native-born, non-Hispanic whites,” as ThinkProgress explained. The Pew Research Center created a chart showing the study's results:

[ThinkProgress, 10/20/13] [Pew Research Center, 10/15/13

Northwestern University: “Essentially No Correlation Between Immigrants And Violent Crime.” Northwestern University professor Jörg L. Spenkuch used nationwide FBI crime statistics and records from every county in the US and found that there is “essentially no correlation between immigrants and violent crime,” according to a 2014 article. [KelloggInsight, 6/2/14

Study: Incarceration Rates For Young Men Lowest Among Immigrants. According to a study by the Immigration Policy Center, a division of the American Immigration Law Foundation, the incarceration rate of men aged 18 to 39 was five times higher for the native-born population than for immigrants:

Among men age 18-39 (who comprise the vast majority of the prison population), the 3.5 percent incarceration rate of the native-born in 2000 was 5 times higher than the 0.7 percent incarceration rate of the foreign-born. [American Immigration Law Foundation, Spring 2007, via Media Matters]