Questions arise after MS-13 member accused in woman’s death

(NewsNation) — A pair of top GOP House members are looking into the release of a teenage MS-13 gang member accused of killing a 20-year-old woman last year after he was released by Border Patrol.

The agency says it has no way of tracking the criminal histories of people who enter the U.S. from other countries without authorization.

House Reps. Jim Jordan and Tom McClintock are investigating why a 17-year-old boy from El Salvador was released after crossing into the country, where he later was accused of strangling a Maryland woman.

Police in Aberdeen, Maryland, announced the arrest on Feb. 19. They did not issue the name of the accused boy, who is a juvenile. He’s now charged in the July 27 death of Kayla Hamilton, who was diagnosed with autism.

Police say they tied him to the case using DNA evidence. Investigators have said he entered the U.S. through Texas and was reported to be an unaccompanied minor with an aunt in Maryland.

Health and Human Services took custody of the teenager after he was processed and released by Border Patrol.

Now Jordan and McClintock are calling on the agency to release all of the case’s history, including the steps taken to verify the teen’s age, how they identified him as an MS-13 gang member and how the agency confirmed his aunt was his sponsor.

“If they don’t have a criminal record in the United States … they pretty much go unnoticed and they get released,” said Art Del Cueto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

The National Border Patrol Council says agents don’t have access to other countries’ criminal databases — except for the minimal access they have in Mexico.

“It is very, extremely possible that if these individuals do not have any criminal background, or nothing on the record, that that would show in the United States records they could possibly come across, mixed with the rest of the crowd that’s coming in, claim asylum, and potentially get released in the United States,” Del Cueto said.

Border Report

© 1998 - 2023 Nexstar Media Group Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation