U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) recently criticized President Joe Biden's "open border" policy after an MS13 gang member on El Salvador's most wanted list was apprehended in Chelsea.

Last week, 1819 News reported on Juan Carlos Portillo, a foreign fugitive in the U.S. illegally after being deported in December 2022. The 29-year-old was wanted in El Salvador for aggravated kidnapping, attempted aggravated homicide, aggravated extortion, terrorist organization, deprivation of liberty and aggravated homicide.

In an appearance on FM Talk 1065's "The Jeff Poor Show," Carl blamed the Biden administration's lax immigration policies on allowing Portillo and many others like him to infiltrate the southern border.

"It scared me to death," Carl said. "I've been to Central America. I understand where there are good and bad people in Central America. I've been down there representing the federal government. We've had this conversation for the last year. The worst of the worst come out of El Salvador. And now El Salvador has just thrown the doors open and they're turning their prisoners loose that have migrated North. Most of them are MS13 members. Now, the worst of the worst of the worst, and the reason I can say that is this is the number one person on El Salvador's most wanted list, which would make them definitely on the top ten – if not the worst – in America shows up[ in Chelsea Alabama. If you don't think the border issue is a problem for rural Alabama or rural America, you're kidding yourself."

He continued. "And the way he got there is walking across a border with an open border this administration has got. It's got to end. We've got to have some type of tracking system. We've got to have some type of orderly system to bring them across the border."

Portillo is not a one-off. Earlier this month, State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) told 1819 News of his personal encounters with MS13 operations during his time as the police chief of Citronelle.

"I know when I was chief of police for the city of Citronelle, you know, we had a guy there that moved in town with MS-13 and was very active in our community there until we were able to make a case on him and send him to prison," Stringer said. "They're moving into our rural areas and trying to recruit and develop our gangs in these rural areas. I mean, it is part of the drug cartel and part of the ongoing issue we are seeing with immigration across the country. It all plays in with what's going on across our country and what's going on across Alabama."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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