Sessions: Many unaccompanied minors are ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ – Politico
BOSTON â Attorney General Jeff Sessions is warning that many unaccompanied minors trying to enter the U.S. across its southern border are gang members whom the country should view as âwolves in sheep’s clothing.â
In a speech to local and national law enforcement this afternoon in Boston, Sessions said transnational gangs like Central America-based MS-13, use whatâs known as the âunaccompanied refugee minorsâ program to âas a means by which to recruit new members.â
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The attorney general said the Department of Justice is working with the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to âexamine the unaccompanied minors issue and the exploitation of this program by the gang members who come to this country as wolves in sheep’s clothing.â
The program was developed in the 1980s to assist with thousands of children in Southeast Asia without parents, according to the Department for Health and Human Servicesâ Office of Refugee Resettlement. Since 1980, more than 13,000 children have entered the unaccompanied refugee minors program.
The Obama administration allowed certain minors in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to be considered for refugee status in the United States after tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from those countries flooded into the United States. In August, DHS canceled the approvals of 2,700 kids who had been conditionally approved for parole but had not received final sign-off.
Sessions described MS-13âs activities in brutal terms.
âThis is America. We will not allow the likes of MS-13 or any other gang to prey upon our communities, to decapitate individuals with machetes, baseball bats and chains,â Sessions said.
He vowed to ânot concede a single block or street cornerâ to MS-13âs âvicious tactics.â
âAll law-abiding individuals must be free to walk down any street without fear of being hacked with a machete just because they donât don the white and blue of the Mara,â Sessions said, referring to another name for MS-13: âMara Salvatrucha.â
Sessions also reiterated the importance of a border wall.
âSecuring 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,â he said.
In Sessionsâ remarks, he noted that Bostonâs was the first U.S. attorneyâs office to contact him for a visit after he became attorney general. Attendees at his speech included Bristol County, Massachusetts, Sheriff Tom Hodgson, who made headlines earlier this year when he offered to send his prisonâs inmates to the border to help build a wall.