Border Patrol agents arrested an MS-13 gang member on Saturday who had crossed the border illegally after hiding among migrants who planned to apply for asylum.
The man was not Salvadoran, as MS-13 members usually are. Nor was he arrested at the San Ysidro crossing at San Diego on the other side of the border from Tijuana, where nearly 6,000 migrants await application for asylum.
But his arrest demonstrates once again the danger of criminals hiding with the Tijuana contingent. The estimate is that between 500 and 600 — about 10 percent of the contingent — are criminals. This latest arrest was only one of many in the last seven days. In Texas and Arizona this week, agents collared a number of gang members and sex fiends trying to enter the country illegally.
Their persistence in trying to cross the border outside the protection of the migrant caravan ought to tell us that others will most certainly use the caravan as a cover to sneak in.
Border agents arrested the MS-13 member at about 6 p.m. when they ran into him east of the Calexico entry port, CPB said in a news release. Calexico is on the border with Mexicali about 134 miles east of the San Ysidro entry port, where the illegal-alien migrants tried to rush the border on Sunday.
“After a short interview, the man told agents he is a Honduran citizen and active gang member with the notorious Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) international crime organization,” the agency reported. The man confessed to hiding in a group of migrants “intending filing for asylum in the United States.”
CPB will send the illegal-alien thug back to Honduras, the origin of the migrant train that traveled through Mexico and is now settled in Tijuana.
But this estimable fellow is only one of the MS-13 gang members the Border Patrol recently caught. All across the frontier with Mexico, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, agents are catching gang members.
On Wednesday, agents put the arm on two gang members in Hidalgo. One was a Salvadoran member of MS-13, the other a Honduran member of 18th Street Gang. Agents collared eight illegal aliens on Monday near Abram, Texas, one of whom admitted being an MS-13 gang member.
A third MS-13 member with an aggravated homicide arrest warrant landed in custody on Saturday near Pharr.
Fight Against Gangs a Massive Undertaking
Yet the arrests in the past week offer only a glimpse of what immigration authorities are up against. Two weeks ago, as The New American reported, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported five Salvadorans, four of whom were MS-13 gang members.
And a report from ICE in March, which detailed the results of “Operation Matador,” demonstrated just what state and local police and immigration authorities face, and why President Trump must stand firm on the migrants who await entry in the United States.
ICE locked up 475 criminals, most of whom were confirmed gang members and affiliates.
The “most prominent gangs with arrests during this operation were MS-13 with 274 arrests and the 18th street gang with 15 arrests,” ICE reported. “This operation yielded 227 total criminal arrests and 248 administrative arrests.”
Eighty of the gangbangers had “additional criminal histories,” ICE reported, including convictions for assault and weapons crimes. Those arrested included an MS-13 member who admitted murdering a rival gang member in El Salvador at age 12 and another who admitted murdering three gang members in El Salvador when he was 13.
Sex Criminals Are Crossing, Too
But gang members aren’t the only threat. Sex criminals are crossing the border, too.
On Wednesday, agents arrested a Mexican in Los Ebanos who had been arrested in Tukwila, Washington, for raping a child. Just hours later, CPB reported, they picked up a Salvadoran near Roma who had been charged with sexually assaulting a child.
On Tuesday, agents near Mission collared a Mexican who had been convicted of indecency with a child. Later that day, agents near La Joya arrested a Salvadoran pervert who was convicted of sexual battery in Concord, California.
Also on Tuesday, agents in Arizona caught an illegal Guatemalan entering the United States southwest of Tucson. In February, he was convicted in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for third-degree sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16.
In something of an odd twist, one might presume, on Monday agents collared an American citizen traveling with a band of illegals. He was wanted for aggravated sexual assault of a child, CPB reported, and agents handed him to the local sheriff for extradition to Fort Worth.