- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Immigration officials did contact the family of Kathryn Steinle to offer their condolences on her murder, the Homeland Security Department said in a statement Wednesday, a day after Secretary Jeh Johnson said he wasn’t aware of whether any contact had been made.

The Steinle family reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of Homeland Security, on July 7, or about a week after Kathryn’s slaying. Two days later, the deputy director of the ICE field office in San Francisco returned the message, offering “condolences and assistance,” spokeswoman Tanya J. Bradsher said.

“ICE, the Secretary, and the Department of Homeland Security are prepared to offer the Steinle family further support and assistance upon request,” the spokeswoman said.

She was pushing back against reports Tuesday after Mr. Johnson gave the appearance he wasn’t familiar with the Steinle case. In response to a question from a member of Congress about the murder, Mr. Johnson initially asked “Who?”

But the spokeswoman said the secretary didn’t hear the question properly, and clearly had been familiar with the case, since he’d mentioned it in public remarks several times in the weeks between the killing and Tuesday’s hearing.

The suspect in the Steinle killing is an illegal immigrant who’d been deported repeatedly and yet successfully snuck back into the U.S. each time. In the most recent instance he was transferred from the federal Bureau of Prisons to San Francisco, which released him under its sanctuary policy.

Homeland Security has come under fire for the incident — though ICE had actually issued a detainer request asking that the suspect be transferred to them when he was released from federal prison in March.

Instead, the Bureau of Prisons decided San Francisco’s claim had priority.

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