A Senate chairman and ally of President Trump's war on illegal immigration is pushing to end former President Obama's catch and release of "unaccompanied children," claiming most aren't kids and some are vicious criminals like the two charged in the brutal rape of a 14-year-old Maryland girl in school.
Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said that half of the "children" allowed into the United States, then placed around the country, are older teens.
Interviewed for Sunday's Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, Johnson said, "Of unaccompanied children, two-thirds are older than 15 years old. Two-thirds are males. Only 18 percent are less than 12 years old, so the unaccompanied children really aren't children."
Johnson, who this week held two hearings in support of building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border, added that the program is encouraging illegals to enter the country.
"A lot of really bad things happen because the incentives we create in our law," he said, adding, "You know we should try and address what we can address, and we should end this lax enforcement. And this administration is definitely committed to doing so."
Law enforcement and community leaders have complained for years that the Unaccompanied Alien Child program is being used by gangs, including MS-13, to traffic members into the United States. They claim it has also led to the abuse of some of those let in.
Attkisson's interview touched on the horrific rape by two illegals, one 18, another 17, of a 14-year-old girl in a Maryland school bathroom.
Johnson said the UAC program is in part to blame. "In this case, you had a 17 and 18-year-old, you know one from El Salvador, one from Honduras, who brutally and repeatedly raped a 14-year-old girl because they were in 9th grade with her. The fact is, that once you get here as an unaccompanied child, and that's any, I guess unless you're 18, you're a child, you get to stay here. You get a notice to appear, you don't even set a court date. Those types of tragedies, that tragedy with that 14-year-old girl could have been prevented if we really enforced our laws and if we end these incentives for illegal immigration," he said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org