Illegal Kids Snapped Up by Violent Gangs

After crossing the border alone, these minors are ripe for recruitment

Many young illegals streaming across the U.S. border are joining violent street gangs — a situation that requires ramped-up safety protocols at the border, according to federal authorities.

“Our safety standards have increased,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Andrea Helling told Fox News Thursday. “In the last few months, screening procedures of children and sponsors have increased in their intensity — which we hadn’t done previously.”

Gangs are more involved than ever in smuggling large quantities of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy into the U.S.

Kids in any country should be considered precious. They deserve the protections of both their families and their nation — and for U.S. children, that means a U.S. immigration policy that puts Americans first, while still supporting legal immigration.

All Americans are at risk as long as illegal immigration is not tackled by our next president. These street gangs are not only killers, they’re also the number-one distributors of illegal drugs — including heroin — in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Heroin is currently an American epidemic sweeping through the U.S., ruining lives — the lives of our kids.

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Gangs are more involved than ever in smuggling large quantities of cocaine and marijuana as well as heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA (also known as ecstasy) into the United States from “foreign sources of supply,” according to the Justice Department.

Related: The Secret Way to Keep Your Kids Off Drugs

“While working in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s and 1990s as a school counselor, I saw many young people come across the border unaccompanied,” certified counselor and forensic behavioral analyst Lisa Taylor-Austin of Milford, Connecticut, told LifeZette.

“They were often sent by family who could only afford the transport of one person. When they arrived, they were taken in by family in the United States, or friends — or even acquaintances,” she continued. “This is not a new phenomenon, and crossing the border is incredibly dangerous. Often youth die, are raped, are sold into human trafficking, or become recruited by gangs.”

While some young illegals may be new recruits, others may be “sleepers” — or already recruited — federal authorities say.

Even if young illegals are not gang members when they come into the U.S., the risk remains that they could fall prey to recruitment efforts, Helling told

“Teens who have poor parental involvement — or parents who are not present — are targets of exploitation from gangs,” said Taylor-Austin. “Many gangs seek out youth who will be an asset to them. For example, when crimes are committed, gangs often have minors commit the crimes — the jail sentences are not as strict as they are for adults.”

“Youth who lack protective factors can easily fall victim to gangs,” one expert said.

She added, “We know that youth who lack protective factors such as family, support, and housing can easily fall victim to gangs who offer housing, food, protection, and camaraderie.”

There were 27, 754 apprehensions of unaccompanied children in the first six months of 2016, according to Pew Research. It is alarming the impact these children could have on American crime and street drug sales; imagine if even a fraction of these almost 30,000 kids joined violent gangs.

It may be shocking to some, but other countries must actually be responsible for their own citizens — and work toward a safer country that protects their native children.

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