Posted on June 2, 2005

Senator Wants to Deny Entry to Immigrant Gang Members

Ruth Morris, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale), Jun. 1

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sen. Bill Nelson on Wednesday said he was filing legislation to give consular officers the authority to deny U.S. entry to immigrants they suspect might belong to gangs, opening a new front on government efforts to crack down on the internationally notorious MS-13 gang.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion among local immigration and law enforcement officers in Broward County, Nelson, D-Fla., called for gang members to be shuffled into the same “inadmissible” immigration category that already applies to drug traffickers, terror suspects and other criminals.

That in turn would boost the penalty associated with helping an inadmissible gang member to sneak into the country illegally, from one year in prison, to 10. The senator plans to introduce the measure as an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Adjustment Act on Monday.