A Border Patrol sector chief this week issued a snapshot of the number of gang members potentially coming into the U.S. as part of the migrant wave surging toward the southern border, amid concerns that members of vicious gangs like MS-13 could be getting into the U.S.
"5 gang members in 7 days," Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak tweeted.
Hudak said that in the Laredo, Texas, sector, Border Patrol arrested five gang members in one week, including an MS-13 gang member and two members belonging to the 18th Street gang.
"They attempt to evade arrest by exploiting the influx of migrants attempting to enter our country," he tweeted.
MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, was set up in Los Angeles by Central American immigrants and has expanded across the continent -- particularly in Northern Triangle countries like El Salvador and Guatemala. It is known for its particularly horrific and gruesome crimes, and its motto is said to be "mata, viola, controla" -- which means "kill, rape, control."
More than 172,000 migrants were encountered in March, with a similar number expected in April. Separately, officials have estimated that approximately 1,000 migrants are getting past overwhelmed agents every day as they try and tackle the surge in family units and minors.
The number of "gotaways," along with the snapshot of the border provided by agents on the ground, is fueling fears that gang members and other lowlifes are getting through the border amid those genuinely seeking asylum.
Border Patrol agents in California arrested an alleged MS-13 gang member last month after he had illegally crossed the border into the United States.
Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said he is "absolutely concerned about the nexus" with the gang.
"We’ve already shown from the past that some of these unaccompanied minors end up in MS-13," he added.
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