A surge of unaccompanied children coming across the southern border could be swelling the ranks of one of America’s most dangerous gangs, either as fresh recruits or hardened sleepers, according to federal authorities.
Some 227,149 unaccompanied children have been apprehended at the border over the last six years, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. They remain in federal custody until a sponsor can be located, at which time they are often sent to communities where they are ripe for recruitment by Latin gangs such as the infamous MS-13.
“Our safety standards have increased,” Andrea Helling, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told FoxNews.com. “In the last few months screening procedures of children and sponsors has increased in their intensity which we hadn’t done previously.”