Jeff Sessions Falsely Claims Obama Policies To Blame For Growth Of MS-13
During a press conference in Baltimore on Tuesday morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed what he called the Obama administration’s weak enforcement of immigration laws for allowing the MS-13 gang to grow into a national force—one they said is now the most violent in the country.
“Transnational gangs like MS-13 have taken advantage of our porous southern border and previously lax immigration law enforcement,” Sessions said, according to Associated Press. He added that the El Salvador-based gang was “knocked down” in 2006 but had since regained its power.
Sessions criticized the Obama administration for allowing the backlog of immigration cases to triple since 2009, and for shutting down 200,000 pending immigration court cases without final decisions.
“By closing them, basically they legalized the person who was coming to court because they were illegally in the country,” Sessions said. “But under President Trump, we have already taken steps to bring down that backlog and we are completing, not closing, immigration cases.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was also at the press conference, and she said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested almost 800 MS-13 gang members this year, an 83 percent spike versus the prior year under the Obama administration.
“These savage criminals are in our communities, a deadly consequence of decades of unsecured borders and disempowered law enforcement,” said Nielsen, who was confirmed as DHS secretary last week. Her predecessor, John Kelly, left to bring order to the White House as chief of staff. “Under President Trump, this administration has taken action to change that,” she said.
However, According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration fought the MS-13 gang by targeting its finances and declaring it an international criminal group subject to Treasury Department sanctions. Additionally, the Obama administration arrested and deported more MS-13 gang members than all other administrations combined.