Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was probably the most prominent individual voicing concerns about gang members being among the illegal aliens. In a June 12 letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Brewer wrote:
Our country is in the midst of a crisis manufactured by President Obama and his administration's refusal to enforce our nation's immigration laws. As a result, thousands of people from Central America — including unaccompanied children — are flooding into the United States and not fleeing from, but surrendering to, United States Border Patrol officials.
Brewer then continued to address a more critical threat:
By the Obama administration's own estimation, 230,000 unaccompanied alien minors are expected to cross through the Rio Grande Sector by the end of next year.... If Border Patrol is overwhelmed, what consideration is being given — and what is being done — to determine if any of these illegal aliens have criminal histories or gang affiliations? For example, we know that MS-13, one of the world's most notorious international gangs, has strong ties to several of the Central American countries from which these aliens are arriving. The administration's refusal to properly verify that violent criminals are not among those entering the United States shows an alarming lack of concern for our homeland’s security. As a nation, we cannot sit back and allow this policy to continue.
While Brewer’s concerns are valid, they were based mostly on educated suspicions. However, Chris Cabrera, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, offered more substantive details that validated Brewer’s statement. Cabrera told National Review that Border Patrol agents have reunited identified gang members with their families in the United States. Cabrera said an officer recently told him about a known teen member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) transnational gang whom he was powerless to stop entering the country.
“I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera said. “Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse.”
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of MS-13 gang member: AP Images