Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers apprehended nearly 500 migrants affiliated with gangs during President Joe Biden’s first year in office, according to a Department of Homeland (DHS) response to a congressional inquiry obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Between Jan. 20, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022, border authorities arrested 479 gang-affiliated individuals, most of which were affiliated with the Mara Salvatrucha gang, otherwise known as MS-13, according to the response.
MS-13 gang members are expected to use “any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
MS-13 has been responsible for brutal killings and kidnappings of Americans. One MS-13 member, who is known as “Little Devil,” was found guilty on April 11 of ambushing victims on Long Island, luring them to be hacked, stabbed and beaten. The five victims allegedly posted pictures of themselves flashing gang signs, which the gang interpreted as a sign of “disrespect.” Only one of the victims survived the attack.
A Maryland man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in 2020 after admitting he was involved with MS-13 Fulton branch and was involved in a brutal murder, where gang members dismembered their victim’s body and buried it in a shallow grave.
Of the gang members that DHS said were apprehended, 183 were affiliated with the transnational criminal organization, according to the response. Additionally, 93 of the gang members were affiliated with the Paisas prison gang while another 65 were tied to the Salvadoran 18th Street gang.
.@CBPRGV Border Patrol agents apprehended 5 gang members in 2 days. The men were members of MS-13, Surenos, and the 18th Street gang.
— CBP (@CBP) April 16, 2022
Transnational gangs often exploit weaknesses in border and immigration enforcement in the U.S., Former U.S. Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla Provost told members of Congress in 2017.
“CBP has faced many challenges in recent years, including large-scale flows of foreign nationals from Central America and Mexico. MS-13 took full advantage of these flows of foreign nationals into the United States by hiding in these populations to enter our country. As a result, American citizens have died, and domestic law enforcement across the nation has had to deal with the burden of MS-13 violence and drug-dealing on American streets on a daily basis,” Provost said.
Neither DHS, nor CBP responded to requests for comment.
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