Sheriff to end practice of hosting ICE agent at Monterey County Jail.

Monday, December 18, 2017

SALINAS - In July 2015, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was out for an evening stroll with her father in San Francisco when she was struck by a bullet, and died in her father's arms. 

The shooter was 54-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an immigrant from Mexico who had been deported five times prior. 

The tragic story became a talking point in the national debate over immigration policy, and whether jurisdictions should take stronger steps to protect people from crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. It also became the impetus in Monterey County for Sheriff Steve Bernal to launch a pilot program about two months later, giving federal agents Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, access to the Monterey County Jail and inmate records. 

“We don’t want things like that to happen here in Monterey County,” Bernal told the Weekly of Steinle's death and his decision to launch the relationship with ICE back in 2015.