When he was campaigning for office, President Trump made a promise to the American people to attack violent street gangs like MS-13. He has followed through on that promise with numerous raids on gang members, including one last Thursday that rounded up around 60 members of the MS-13 gang in the Boston area. Philip Marcelo reports for Reuters:
President Donald Trump has consistently singled out MS-13 as a threat to national security, even though its U.S. presence remains relatively small compared with street gangs like the Bloods and Crips.
The recent surge in MS-13 violence in Boston and other cities was prompted by MS-13 leaders in El Salvador seeking to strengthen the gang’s U.S. presence, said Peter Levitt, a former assistant U.S. attorney who was the lead prosecutor on the Boston cases.
Veteran gang members were sent to Boston from El Salvador and elsewhere to organize local factions, ramp up high school recruitment, step up drug dealing and undertake the savage attacks — often with machetes and knives — that have become MS-13′s hallmark, he said.
On New York’s Long Island, the gang has been blamed for at least 25 killings since 2016, and authorities have conducted similar large sweeps. And in Fresno County, California, MS-13 has been linked to more than 12 deaths in the past two years. More than two dozen gang members and affiliates were rounded up in August.
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