Congressman Explains Some Border Minors Are Gang Members, ‘Not Children’

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In December, congressional Republicans held a meeting to learn how to talk to ladies without making Todd Akin–style gaffes, and it might be time to hold a similar meeting on discussing immigration. BuzzFeed reports that during a WOCA radio appearance on Monday, Florida Republican Representative Richard Nugent said his party wants to treat the unaccompanied minors flooding across the border humanely. "Believe it or not, Republicans have a heart," he said, then immediately undermined that statement. "A lot of these children … quote-unquote … ya know, the first caller mentioned it, ya know, they’re gang members," Nugent said. "They’re gang affiliated."

Nugent continued:

Listen if you’re 14, 15, 16, 17 years old and you’re coming from a country that’s gang infested, particularly with MS-13-types. That is the most aggressive of all the street gangs. When you have those types coming across the border, they’re not children at that point. These kids have been brought up in a culture of thievery. A culture of murder, of rape. And now we are going to infuse them into the American culture. It’s just ludicrous.

The congressman is right that many of the "children" who cross the border alone are actually teens. The New York Times reports, "Nearly half of them are boys between ages 15 and 17, and the proportion who are girls and younger children has been increasing in the last year."

Certainly, some of those teens have been affiliated with gangs, and the media isn't highlighting their stories. However, it's safe to assume that a large percentage of the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who crossed the border since October are risking their lives to get away from the culture of thievery, murder, and rape.

On the bright side, this kind of talk should distract immigration advocates from complaining about lawmakers' continued use of the term "illegal immigrants."