WICHITA - U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts says drug cartels are enticing Central American immigrants to come to the United States to work for their operations here.
The Kansas Republican made the claim Monday at the annual convention of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association.
He says the cartels spread false information that President Barack Obama's 2-year-old directive granting work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as youths would also allow Central American children to stay in the country.
Many of the 66,000 Central American immigrants currently arriving in the country are between the ages of 16 and 22. Roberts says those immigrants become drug "mules" to expand the cartels' drug operation in the United States.
He estimates the number will grow to 100,000 if the U.S. doesn't respond.