American border officials cannot refuse to let in gang members who either sneak in or show up at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, government officials said Tuesday as they pleaded for congressional action to close loopholes gang members are exploiting.

“When they come to our border I have to let them in,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a White House roundtable.

“This is unique to our country, and it’s got to change,” President Trump chimed in.

Mr. Trump has made highlighting and combatting MS-13 a major tenet of his immigration policy, and his aides bolstered his case with graphic stories and photos of victims of MS-13 violence.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan called the gang “savages.”

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