3 minutes reading time (522 words)
Protecting American Communities from the Violence of MS-13
"Together, we're going to restore safety to our streets and peace to our communities, and we're going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs."
by President Donald J. Trump
A THREAT TO AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: MS-13 has brought violence, fear, and suffering to communities across the country.
- MS-13, short for Mara Salvatrucha, is a violent transnational gang primarily composed of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador.
- MS-13's motto is "mata, viola, controla" which means "kill, rape, control."
- They commit shocking acts of violence to instill fear, like machete attacks, execution-style murders, gang rape, and human trafficking
- MS-13 has more than 30,000 members worldwide, including more than 10,000 in the United States.
- The violent gang recruits middle- and high-school students, primarily immigrants, and uses fear of retribution to keep their recruits from leaving
- The gang is known to regularly conduct activities in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia.
- MS-13 primarily generates income through extortion, prostitution, membership dues, and illicit trafficking.
- As revealed by recent investigations, MS-13 gang leaders are known to send representatives across the United States border to take control of local MS-13 "cliques," local units, and connect the local members to gang leaders abroad.
- MS-13 gang leaders have directed American MS-13 cliques to become more violent in order to control territory.
- In recent years, MS-13 has taken advantage of the large flow of foreign nationals from Central America and Mexico into the U.S. by hiding in these populations.
- MS-13 has preyed on American communities, committing horrendous acts of violence.
- Approximately 38 percent of all murders in Suffolk County, New York, between January 2016 and June 2017, were linked to MS-13.
COMBATING MS-13: President Trump's Administration has undertaken serious efforts to bring the violent criminals of MS-13 to justice.
- President Trump spoke on the threat posed by MS-13 in his remarks on the State of the Union and described the bravery of our Nation's law enforcement officers who continue to combat this violent gang.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions designated MS-13 as a priority for the Department of Justice (DOJ)'s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces in October 2017.
- Under President Trump, DOJ has worked with partners in Central America resulting in the filing of criminal charges against more than 4,000 members of MS-13.
- ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) made 4,818 criminal arrests related to gang activity in FY 2017, as well as 892 administrative arrests that resulted from gang investigations.
- HSI arrested 796 MS-13 gang members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from FY 2016.
- In FY 2017, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested 536 gang-affiliated illegal aliens, of whom 228, more than 40 percent, were affiliated with MS-13.
SECURING OUR BORDERS: President Donald J. Trump has released an immigration framework which includes border security measures vital to preventing the entry of criminal aliens like MS-13 members into the United States.
- President Trump has proposed an immigration framework that includes the tools and resources required to secure our borders and close legal loopholes exploited by cartels and criminals.
- The President has made clear that, as a part of our efforts to curb illegal immigration, we must ensure criminal aliens, gang members, violent offenders, and aggravated felons are detained and quickly removed from the United States.