Federal officials said they are bracing themselves for a wave of Central American gang members posing as refugees to enter and seek asylum in the U.S.
In an FBI threat assessment, the bureau warned that there are preliminary intelligence reports that indicate MS-13 gang members are attempting to cross the Arizona border, and other U.S. southern borders, in record numbers. They are crossing quietly, according to the report, and mingling in with other groups of immigrants.Many young men are fleeing El Salvador and Honduras for the US in order to escape the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. Among those young men, some are probably gang members traveling to the US as part of a plan by leaders to spread their organization's reach.
However, I'm not sure we have the ability to determine who is a gang member and who is not. I fear this will only criminalize all migrants, undermine legitimate credible fear claims, and spread fear in the US about all undocumented immigrants.
And among gang members, I'm not sure we can separate which young men are fleeing gang "membership" for the safety of the US and which young men are coming for ulterior motives. If you want to leave a gang in Central America (you might have been forced to get involved or gang life wasn't what you thought you were signing up for) it's pretty difficult to remain in your home country.
You can't just leave the gang. You need to leave the country.