WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the results of Operation Raging Bull Thursday. Operation Raging Bull included arrests of 214 MS-13 gang members in the United States and 53 in El Salvador. Of the 214 individuals arrested in the United States, 198 were foreign nationals, only five of which were in the United States legally. Sixty-four of the gang members arrested in the United States entered the country as unaccompanied alien children (UAC).
“I applaud ICE’s work cracking down on MS-13. My committee received information indicating that in 2014, over a dozen unaccompanied alien children self-admitted that they were MS-13 gang members when they were apprehended at the border and yet the Obama administration still placed them in communities throughout the United States. As today’s announcement shows, MS-13 and other violent criminal organizations have exploited America’s broken immigration system to expand their reach around the country. We must work together to apprehend these gang members and I applaud the Trump administration for bringing these gang members to justice.”
In May 2017, Senator Johnson raised concerns to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) about reports of UACs apprehended by U.S. law enforcement self-identifying as MS-13 gang members. These self-identified MS-13 members were ultimately placed by ORR all around the country. Senator Johnson’s May 23, 2017 letter to ORR is available here. HHS ORR’s June 21, 2017 response is available here.