WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. immigration officers keep apprehending and deporting members of the brutal Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, but they keep sneaking back across the southwest border into the United States, a high-ranking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official told lawmakers.
“In many cases, we know who these individuals are. We have biometric identifiers. They’ve been arrested by the Border Patrol [USBP] or been arrested by ICE previously and removed and then re-entered the country unlawfully,” testified Matthew Albence, the executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) at ICE, under oath.
His comments came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on January 21, 2017, titled, “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat.”
Both ICE and USBP are components of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Breitbart Texas has long documented the threat posed by the notoriously violent MS-13 gang in the United States.
U.S. federal government figures show that there are “more than” 10,000 MS-13 gang members — accused of extortion, murder, and rape, among other crimes — operating in “at least” 46 states and the nation’s capital.
Albence told lawmakers that a “rather long list” of sanctuary cities — including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco — are protecting incarcerated MS-13 members from deportation and releasing them back into U.S. communities.
“We know they’re gang members. We know they’re criminals, but if the county or the city does not allow us to get into the jail to make that final determination, to process that individual for removal and take custody of that person, then they’re released back into the community to re-victimize,” he said.
“We are not asking the state of local institutions to do anything besides give us access and transfer that individual to our custody at the completion of their criminal process so we [can]…remove them from the country or prosecute them,” he added.
The hearing featured testimony from several law enforcement officials who indicated that the flow of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) entering the United States illegally is fueling the MS-13 ranks across the U.S.