During a White House roundtable discussion on immigration and border reform, the head of the Department of Homeland Security let it be known just how dire the situation is on the ground.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — in a plea for congressional action on immigration loopholes — derided current U.S. immigration policies that violent gang members have taken advantage of in order to enter and remain in the country.
“When they come to our border I have to let them in,” Nielsen said.
Coached on how to game the system, many illegal immigrants who are apprehended at the border use “magic words” when speaking to law enforcement, suggesting that they are in immediate danger if they return to their home country, according to The Washington Times. This helps them gain some measure of asylum protection.
The effort allows them entry into the U.S., where many subsequently vanish from DHS’ radar.
“This is unique to our country, and it’s got to change,” President Donald Trump said during the meeting.
The president has been a steadfast advocate in greater border protections, making the construction of a massive border wall between the U.S. and Mexico a hallmark of his 2016 campaign.
Beyond calling for funding for a border wall, Trump has expressed strong interest in doing away with the visa lottery and chain migration, two immigration programs that have recently allowed terrorists to enter the U.S.
In October 2017, an immigrant from Uzbekistan who entered the country through the visa lottery allegedly drove a rental truck through lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring around a dozen others while shouting, “Allahu akbar.”
In December, New York City residents were once again rocked by a terrorist attack when a Bangladeshi immigrant — who came by way of chain migration — allegedly attempted to detonate a bomb in the subway system.
“We’re gonna end both of them,” Trump said of the two programs. “We’re going to end them. Fast.”
The president has continued to highlight the perils of unchecked illegal immigration.
For his first State of the Union address, Trump invited Evelyn Rodriguez and her family to attend. Rodriguez’s 16-year-old daughter was brutally murdered by MS-13 gang members in 2016. An investigation discovered that three of the four gang members involved were affiliated with MS-13, an international gang made up of Salvadorian refugees who boast around 10,000 members in the U.S.
The Brentwood School District, where the young girl attended school before her death, has witnessed a massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America, many of them arriving alone with no parents or family.
MS-13’s presence in the country was discussed during the White House roundtable.
“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,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan, who referred to them as “savages.”
“MS-13 can simply replenish its jail population by sending more and more members across our borders.”
Immigrant-rights advocates and Democrats claim Trump is attempting to conflate MS-13 with unaccompanied children. However, data from anti-gang operations last year prove the comparison holds merit.
Special Agent Angel Melendez, who leads the Homeland Security Investigations’ New York branch, revealed that 30 percent of MS-13 members apprehended in recent anti-gang operations entered the country as part of the surge of Unaccompanied Alien Children that took place during former President Obama’s waning years on office.
In the case of Rodriguez’s daughter, over 4,000 young unaccompanied minors entered her school district in the past several years alone.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.