Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged for a strike on illegal immigration and inflow of criminal gangs into the United States, The Hill reports.
“We are now working with the Department of Homeland Security and [Department of Health and Human Services] to examine the unaccompanied minors issue and the exploitation of that program by gang members who come to this country as wolves in sheep clothing,” Sessions said.
During his speech before law enforcement officials, the Attorney General slammed those “taking advantage” of the program called Unaccompanied Alien Children.
The Unaccompanied Alien Children is a program run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, aiming to take unaccompanied minors who have entered illegally and put them in a community, saying it is in “the best interests of the child.”
“This program continues to place juveniles from Central America into this gang-controlled territory. It is clearly being abused,” Sessions said, saying that the MS-13 gang was using the program as a recruitment tool.
He denounced the MS-13 violent actions, a gang going by the name of La Mara Salvatrucha, settled and operating in Los Angeles, Boston and New York since the 1980s.
“MS-13 represents some of the worst of the worst when it comes to criminal street gangs,” Sessions noted.
The attorney general said his trips to New York and the “belly of the beast” in El Salvador where the gang is operating “has hardened my resolve that we must contain and dismantle this gang, clique by clique and member by member.”
Sessions also made a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign vow to erect a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, suggesting that it would help in preventing the undetected entrance of violent gang members into the U.S.
“Securing our border, both through a physical wall and with the brave men and women of the border patrol and restoring an orderly and lawful system of immigration is part and parcel of this anti-gang strategy,” Sessions said.
Protesters came to the speech outside the court with signs saying “Jeff: Go Home” and “Racism is #Notwelcome,” according to Reuters.