Trump Administration Targets The Infamous MS-13 Street Gang, Blaming Lax Immigration Laws

"We will secure our border, expand immigration enforcement, and choke off supply lines. If you are a gang member: We will find you."

By Benjamin H. Smith

The Trump administration has set its sights on infamous Latin-American street gang MS-13, which have been blamed for a series of high-profile killings in the past year. Most recently, the gang was tied to a brutal quadruple homicide in the suburbs of New York

According to ABC News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with top law enforcement officials Tuesday to address the problem, saying “These organizations enrich themselves by pedaling poison in our communities, trafficking children for sexual exploitation and inflicting horrific violence in the communities where they operate.” Sessions linked the gang’s spread to lax enforcement of immigration laws and criticized so-called “sanctuary cities” for harboring criminals that have come to the US illegally, adding "We cannot allow this to continue. We will secure our border, expand immigration enforcement, and choke-off supply lines. If you are a gang member: We will find you."

MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, was formed in Los Angeles in the early 1980s to protect El Salvadorian immigrants against the city’s long-running black and Mexican-American gangs. As gang members were arrested and often deported, the gang’s reach spread back to Central America, where it has flourished. Since the late 1990s, MS-13 has established itself in the northeast. In September, 2016, the group was linked to the killing of two teenage girls in Brentwood, New York, on the South Shore of Long Island, not far from last week’s killings.

In a series of tweets yesterday, President Donald Trump addressed the issue and as usual used it as an opportunity to throw shade at his predecessor. “The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!.” Later in the day, he posted another message saying "Sessions is doing a fantastic job: announced today new steps to dismantle violent gangs like MS-13. I promised to get tough and we are!"

[Photo: NBC News]

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