The Trump administration is pointing to a big federal roundup of members of the violent gang MS-13 as vindication of elevated enforcement efforts and cause to alter the coverage on unaccompanied minor unlawful immigrants.

The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security introduced a joint effort that led to the arrest of 214 gang members and people concerned with gang-related crime.

MS-13 is a world legal gang that unfold all through Central America into the United States–in largely city facilities akin to Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, and into Toronto, Canada. The group’s motto is “mata, viola, controla,” which implies, “kill, rape, management.”

Of the 214, simply 16 had been U.S. residents whereas 198 had been international nationals. Of the international nationals, solely 5 had been within the nation legally. Among these arrested, 64 entered the nation as unaccompanied alien kids, however most at the moment are adults, in response to the Trump administration.

During a press convention Thursday saying the arrests, Tom Homan, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, famous the 2008 legislation on unaccompanied minors doesn’t permit them to be instantly returned to their nation of origin.

“The businesses despatched up a collection of coverage requests to the Hill to deal with a whole lot of points to additional management the border and unlawful immigration,” Homan mentioned. “Some of those insurance policies are being exploited and utilized by legal organizations. That’s why that’s one of many coverage points we requested Congress to take a look at and assist us with.”

The multi-state, multi-federal company program was known as “Operation Raging Bull.”

The present legislation states that unaccompanied minors from international locations aside from Canada or Mexico aren’t topic to expedited removing, however the minors are promptly launched into the United States upon arrival on the border. The Department of Homeland Security transfers custody to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement inside 72 hours. That workplace should promptly launch the minor to kin or different sponsors, in response to the White House. In some instances, the sponsors had been criminals who abused legislation.

Of the whole immigration hearings for unaccompanied minors that got here to the United States between 2014 and 2016, 12,977 instances out of 31,091 accomplished led to removing, in response to a Congressional Research Service report in January. Out of these removals, 11,528, or 89 p.c, had been didn’t present up for his or her listening to to make their case in opposition to removing proceedings, and sometimes remained within the nation.

Also, greater than half of the unaccompanied minors that got here into the United States in 2014 and 2015 had been 16 or 17 years previous, in response to the Government Accountability Office in a February 2016 report.

Out of the 214 arrested, 93 had been charged with crimes together with homicide, aggravated theft, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, narcotics possession, firearms offenses, home violence, assault, forgery, drunken driving, and unlawful entry/reentry. The remaining 121 had been arrested on administrative immigration violations, in response to the Justice Department.

“With greater than 10,000 members throughout 40 states, MS-13 is among the most harmful legal organizations within the United States right this moment,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned in a press release. “President Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to cut back crime and take down transnational legal organizations, and we shall be relentless in our pursuit of those aims. That’s why I’ve ordered our drug trafficking job forces to make use of each legislation out there to arrest, prosecute, convict, and defund MS-13. And we’re getting outcomes.”

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