The homicide rate for Long Island, New York has skyrocketed in the past couple of years, and Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco blames Barack Obama for allowing known MS-13 gangsters to move in and wreak havoc. There were eleven MS-13 related kills – mostly young victims – during the 2016-2017 school year alone. According to PJ Media, seventeen of forty-five murders in the county since January 1, 2016, have been attributed to the brutal street gang known for the use of bats and machetes. That’s a whopping 38% percent of all homicides. Sheriff DeMarco says that the unaccompanied minor program provided the avenue for these violent people to settle in his community and others around the nation.
Police Commissioner Timothy Sini explained the issue to a panel of Senators earlier in May:
These unaccompanied minors who are already MS-13 members in El Salvador have made their way to the communities throughout the country, but Suffolk County has been extremely hard hit with this program in that 4,000 minors from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, a lot of them MS-13 members before they came are now in Suffolk County.
Commissioner Sini noted that while MS-13 does engage in theft, extortion, and drug dealing, the primary purpose of the gang seems to be to terrorize the community rather than to make money. The New York Post reports:
“MS-13 often engages in violence for the sake of violence,” Sini told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, “to increase notoriety of the gang and to cause communities to fear the gang and its members.”
He said the gang has about 400 members in the county; the average age of those arrested is 18 and the most common crime is assault with its “signature” weapon — the machete.
The Post then cites the response by an alarmed committee chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). “This is surprising — their primary purpose is just to exist, to be an entity and to have people be loyal to them and the loyalty extends to macheteing people to death,” said Sen. Johnson.
“Obama’s unaccompanied minor program” actually found its beginnings in 2008, when then-President George W. Bush made his final presidential action the signing of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. As the name implies, the bill was intended to protect victims of human trafficking by providing sanctuary. Under this law, minors picked up at the border by Border Patrol or ICE who are not accompanied by family members are sent to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after their initial Border Patrol screening, regardless of whether they have legitimate asylum claims or not.
According to Sen. Ron Johnson, the Obama administration allowed at least sixteen known illegal immigrant MS-13 gang members to settle here after capturing them at the border in 2014. Sen. Johnson cited documents provided by a whistleblower from the Customs and Border Protection. The Center for Immigration Studies published a report in 2014 explaining the abuse of the 2008 law under President Obama:
- It appears that a significant majority of children coming across are not “unaccompanied alien children” according to the definition found in federal law. Federal law defines an “unaccompanied alien child” as an illegal alien under the age of 18 who is without “a parent or legal guardian in the United ” Data from government agencies suggest that the overwhelming majority of minors arriving on the U.S. border have family in the United States.
- There is little evidence to suggest that the recent arrivals are victims of trafficking, which involves coercion. Instead, families and their children are willing participants in smuggling operations, having paid smugglers to bring them into the United States. As ICE explains, “Human trafficking and human smuggling are distinct criminal activities, and the terms are not interchangeable.”
- Even where the 2008 trafficking act is applicable, provisions within the law allow its application to be limited in “exceptional circumstances,” which — as one prominent Democratic senator recently suggested — might include the current border crisis.
President Trump has recently come under fire by progressives across the nation and the media at large for his comments linking the overall immigration issue to MS-13. True, many illegal immigrants are not violent gangsters. Technically illegal immigrants are still criminals simply by the nature of their immigration – it’s right there in the name – but otherwise, they’re just ordinary people who want the best for themselves and their families. However, a large number illegals from south of the border are bringing these violent behaviors with them. To make matters worse, the illegal status of other illegitimate immigrants makes them prime targets for the gang – both as victims and recruits – because they can’t call the police for fear of deportation.
President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have both promised to target criminal gangs, MS-13 specifically. President Trump told the Associated Press, “We are putting MS-13 in jail and getting them the hell out of our country.” After Session’s April visit to Long Island, The New York Post quoted:
“The MS-13 mantra is kill rape and control, and so that should tell us enough about the kind of groups we confront,” Sessions said. “Our motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals.
“We are targeting you. We are coming after you,” he said, addressing the vicious El Salvadorian gang.
This violence by illegals who shouldn’t be here in the first place has plagued Americans – and even other, non-violent illegals – long enough. It’s time to get MS-13 and their ilk, as President Trump said, “the hell out of our country.”