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U.S. immigration polices allowing gangs to thrive in violence-plagued areas on Long Island

October 4, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
U.S. immigration polices allowing gangs to thrive in violence-plagued areas on Long Island

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Critics argue that a blend of federal and local immigration policies are to blame for rolling out the red carpet for a wave of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. illegally, some of whom have been charged with violent crimes, allowing them to stream into a Long Island, N.Y., neighborhood where four teens have been killed in recent weeks.

Federal policies that permit Central American children apprehended by Border Patrol to be sent to stay with sponsors of undocumented immigrants has caused thousands of teens to flock the region over the past few years, Fox News reported.

Although most don’t come to the U.S. as violent gang members, many are put in homes with inadequate supervision.

Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, stated: “It should not be surprising that when these kids are allowed to enter illegally and then are placed in the custody of someone who is here illegally. They do not have much interest in complying with the process.”

Compounding issues for some areas on Long Island, which has been faced with violent offenses caused by the notorious El Salvadoran gang MS-13, results from Suffolk County’s position as a sanctuary county. The Center for Immigration Studies also indicated that Sheriff Vincent DeMarco refuses to accept Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees without a warrant.

Vaughan added that immigrants in the U.S. illegally have a significant incentive to sign up as sponsors of these children because doing so is seen as protection against deportation.

Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the community welfare organization called the Guardian Angels, indicated Suffolk County being a sanctuary region only strengthens the ruthless criminal group.

Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens (Photo Credit: Kayla Cuevas- Family Handout and Nisa

Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens (Photo Credit: Kayla Cuevas- Family Handout and Nisa

Vaughan and others insist that the situation is a recruiting pipeline for MS-13, and Suffolk County has seen a steep increase of the notorious and violent gang. In September, Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, who were both 15-years-old, were brutally killed.

Days after the teenage girls were discovered beaten to death, the remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta and 15-year-old Miguel Garcia-Moran were also found, all of which are believed to be linked to the violent gang.

Days after the teenage girls were discovered beaten to death, the remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta and 15-year-old Miguel Garcia-Moran were also found, all of which are believed to be linked to the violent gang.

Vaughan has noticed, through close analysis of immigration court documents, that about half of the youths fail to appear at their court hearings.

“When they do, they typically are ordered to be deported, but under current policies, they are not a high priority to be tracked down for enforcement, unless they are convicted of a serious crime,” she revealed. “The Obama administration’s approach to dealing with the surge of illegal minors from Central America has been nothing short of a disaster for many communities.”

She also noted that most of the children are not suited for any legal status in the U.S. and are expected to be non-compliant with immigration laws, especially when placed with an undocumented immigrant.

MS-13 gang graffiti in Bay Shore.

MS-13 gang graffiti in Bay Shore, Long Island, where gangs have decimated the community

“When that happens, they are usually ordered removed in absentia, but then ICE has to track them down, which isn’t easy and requires a lot of resources,” Vaughn stated.

Between 2013 and 2015, ICE had deported 5,834 people who illegally entered the U.S. as unaccompanied kids, but by the time the feds apprehend them, they are adults and have already committed a violent offense.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, Mark Weber, indicated that the purpose of the program is to send the children to their relatives who are already in the country — regardless of their immigration standing.

Weber also indicated that he does not have updated data on how many kids were housed with illegal sponsors, which includes home visits and follow-up communication once the youth has been placed,

However, the statistics published on the HHS website tell only one part of the story.

According to the site, in the fiscal year of 2015, only 1,895 home visits were carried out despite the 33,726 referrals filed by the DHS.

Vaughan exhibited minimal faith in the follow-up phone call approach, citing there is no way to track the child’s progress.

Within the past four years, 225,725 unaccompanied Central American children have entered the United States, and just about 3,500 of them were placed in Suffolk County between 2013 and the first six months of 2016.

“This influx has strained school systems in many places, and even worse, the lax oversight has enabled criminal gangs, especially MS-13, and trafficking organizations to bring in kids to increase their numbers,” Vaughan suggested. “The federal agencies and their contractors have failed in their responsibility to guarantee the welfare of these children; in fact, they admit that they have completely lost track of most of these teenagers.”

Sliwa revealed disappointment and frustration with politicians who are preoccupied with the prevention of ISIS-related terrorist attacks while gangs such as MS-13 cause chaos across the country, and the HHS continues the propel Central American children into communities that are not well-prepared for the fallout.

“All you hear is crickets from both sides of the aisle,” Sliwa said. “Politicians don’t get gangs.”

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