Critics charge border bill strengthens ‘MS-13 pipeline’, empowers cartels

by WorldTribune Staff, February 15, 2019

The Democrat-Republican “compromise” spending bill offered to President Donald Trump includes a pair of provisions that critics say will actually end up benefiting the brutal MS-13 gang and the drug cartels which smuggle the majority of drugs into the United States.

Trump was set to sign the $333 billion bipartisan spending bill on Feb. 15, delaying any chance of another partial-government shutdown until October.

A provision in the spending bill allows some Texas counties to stop any new border barrier construction. / AP

The deal prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from detaining or deporting “a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor” of any Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) who have been trafficked across the border.

Pro-immigration reform groups call the provision a legal shield, or de facto amnesty, to anyone claiming to be part of a household that is sponsoring a UAC, even those affiliated with the MS-13 gang.

“Lots of bad but swallowable stuff in $ bill. But Sec. 224 is a poison pill: Gives deportation immunity to any sponsor—or POTENTIAL sponsor—of an “unaccompanied” alien child,” Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian wrote online. “Creates incentive for illegals already here to order up kids from Central America (or anywhere). Outrageous.”

Nearly 35,000 UACs were resettled in the U.S. in Fiscal Year 2018. The vast majority live with sponsors in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia.

New York City Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official Angel Melendez said during a roundtable discussion at the White House in February 2017 that there were nearly 21,000 “potential recruits” for MS-13 resettled across the U.S. as UACs in 2017.

MS-13 is looking at the unaccompanied alien children “to continue to fill in their ranks … Another thing that we’ve been able to look at is, across certain operations that we’ve been able to manage throughout the last couple of years, 30 percent is a consistent number that we’ve seen of MS-13 members that have been arrested that came into this country as unaccompanied alien children,” Melendez said.

Another provision blasted by critics stipulates that specific Texas border counties will have the opportunity to stop the construction of any barriers, fencing, or walls. This includes counties which have a long and recent history of officials taking bribes from the Mexican Gulf Cartel.

Under the provision in the spending bill, three counties where the border barriers were expected to be built – Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron – will be able to prevent any barriers from being built simply by saying they oppose it.

Breitbart reported that those three counties “in less than 20 years have seen five sheriffs and several top law enforcement officials sent to prison for receiving bribes from the Mexican Gulf Cartel, or other acts of public corruption.”

Researchers project, at current rates, there will be more than 600,000 illegal aliens apprehended at the border this year. In December 2018, there were about 51,000 border crossers apprehended and 52,000 apprehended in November.


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