The Obama administration’s lax approach toward border security endangered the entire country. He refused to rout out criminal and illegal immigrants, favoring a “soft” approach instead.
Obama’s leniency allowed the vicious MS-13 gang to flourish. The rates of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) entering the U.S. soared while he was in office. Gang members feed off of young illegals, preying on them until they agree to join the gang.
MS-13 is one of the most brutal gangs in the world. Its members are known for being young, dumb, and heedless. Despite this, the Obama administration refused to target undocumented migrants with gang affiliations. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gang arrests plunged 66 percent during his eight years in office.
Everyday Americans are now feeling the consequences of Obama’s mistake.
“ICE officers were no longer permitted to arrest and remove foreign gang members until they had been convicted of major crimes. Gang arrests by ICE plummeted from about 4,600 in 2012 to about 1,580 in 2014,” the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan wrote.
Enforcement dwindled so low that MS-13 was able to grow in power. The gang was nearly eradicated by President George Bush. Its resurgence is a direct result of Obama’s mismanagement.
“According to local gang investigators, these gangs have been aggressively recruiting recently arrived Central American children as young as 10 years old,” Vaughan cautioned.
The Democrats’ immigration policies favored illegals, particularly underage ones. Migrant families with children and unaccompanied minors received special treatment from border agents.
Minors who were apprehended at the border were either placed with relatives already living in the U.S. or kept in taxpayer-funded housing.
A lot of Obama-era policies are still in place.
“When they come to our border, I have to let them in,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen earlier this year.
“I cannot keep them out by virtue of them being in a gang. Once we catch them and detain them, I cannot remove them by virtue of them being in a gang.”
Tens of thousands of young males from war-torn and poverty-stricken Central America fled to the U.S. over the past decade. The boys arrive alone and helpless, making them an easy target for gang recruiters.
President Trump threw the spotlight on MS-13 multiple throughout his campaign and again once he became president. It’s one of the critical components of the immigration debate, yet most of Congress is focused on protecting the Dreamers instead.
The Dreamers are undocumented migrants who entered the U.S. when they were children.
Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin proposed a bill allowing the government to yank citizenship from immigrants who were found to be affiliated with a gang either 10 years before or 10 years after becoming a citizen.
“This bill is shameless political posturing,” Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, complained. “It will actually cripple public safety while demonizing Long Island’s thousands of hard-working immigrants.”
Choi argued that the government was capricious and used arbitrary markers to determine gang affiliations.
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions abandoned their predecessor’s passive approach toward MS-13 and are targeting the gang with the full force of U.S. law enforcement.
“The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across the U.S. We are removing them fast!” President Trump tweeted last spring.
Routing out criminal illegal immigrants with gang associations doesn’t mean demonizing all immigrants. In fact, experts say that the best way to expose MS-13 thugs is to find law-abiding immigrants willing to speak with the police.
“Without the cooperation of immigrants who have not committed crimes, we would never be able to find and arrest MS-13 criminals,” Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said.
“The moment those victims and witnesses begin to fear that their local police will deport them, cooperation with their police then ceases. We would receive no information or intelligence about MS-13 from immigrants, even innocent members of our community who are their victims.”
Officials complain that sanctuary cities are exacerbating the problem. When local authorities refuse to cooperate with immigration officials, it gives gangs like MS-13 room to grow. Illegal immigrant gangs thrive in areas that offer protection to illegals.
Congress has been arguing over immigration policy for months now and has nothing to show for its efforts.