Home / Politics / DHS chief on gang members at the border: ‘I have to let them in’

DHS chief on gang members at the border: ‘I have to let them in’

American border officers can't refuse to let in gang members who both sneak in or display up at ports of access alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, govt officers mentioned Tuesday as they pleaded for congressional motion to shut loopholes gang members are exploiting.

“When they come to our border I have to let them in,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen mentioned at a White House roundtable.

“This is unique to our country, and it’s got to change,” President Trump chimed in.

Mr. Trump has made highlighting and combatting MS-13 a big guideline of his immigration coverage, and his aides strengthened his case with graphic tales and pictures of sufferers of MS-13 violence.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan referred to as the gang “savages.”

“The reason MS-13 is so massive in our country, the reason why they have 10,000 members in 40 states and the District of Columbia, is because many of those gang members have illegally entered our country,” Mr. Cronan mentioned. “MS-13 can simply replenish its jail population by sending more and more members across our borders.”

Immigrant-rights advocates don’t shield the gangs, however say Mr. Trump is giving immigrants an unfair rap by means of pointing to MS-13 as a part of the immigration debate.

The Democratic National Committee referred to as Mr. Trump’s claims an strive to “fearmonger,” announcing he used to be “falsely [conflating] MS-13 gang members with undocumented immigrants.”

Data from a big anti-gang operation final 12 months, regardless that, prompt there's a hyperlink.

Angel Melendez, particular agent in fee in Homeland Security Investigations’ New York workplace, mentioned a surprising 30 p.c of MS-13 members arrested in contemporary anti-gang operations got here to the U.S. as a part of the surge of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that crushed the Obama management in its ultimate years in workplace.

Agent Melendez mentioned of 40,810 UAC who arrived in the U.S. and have been granted preliminary access in 2017, greater than part of them are men ages 13 to 17 from the Central American nations that function the supply for MS-13.

He mentioned no longer all of the ones UAC are gang members, however MS-13 is “looking at these 20k AUC that came into the United States as potential recruits to refill their ranks.”


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