BRENTWOOD, NY — President Trump promised communities who have spent the last year being terrorized by the MS-13 gang that he would destroy the gang.
Members have been responsible for 17 Suffolk County murders since Jan. 1, 2016, officials said. There are hundreds of estimated MS-13 gang members in Long Island and, Trump said, they’ve turned Long Island into “blood-stained killing fields.”
“We’re going to destroy the vile, criminal cartel MS-13 and many other gangs,” Trump said to a crowd of people in Long Island on Friday.
The spree began after best friends Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were killed in September. MS-13 gang members allegedly tried to kidnap Cuevas. Mickens tried to fight off the kidnappers and both of the teenage girls were killed.
In another notable instance, six alleged MS-13 members attacked four soccer players with knives and machetes at Hempstead Lake Park.
“MS-13, the cartel, has spread gruesome bloodshed throughout the United States,” Trump said. “They’ll be out of here quickly.”
The violence is part of an “intentional amplification of violence” ordered by gang leadership in El Salvador, officials said.
Attorney General Jeff sessions already visited the communities most impacted by MS-13. He said members have exploited the system. Trump blamed the spread of MS-13 on weak policing and weak political leadership. He’s promised to eradicate the gang in the U.S. through strict enforcement of immigration law.
Trump’s strategy calls for 10,000 additional Immigrations and Customs Enforcements officers. He also wants hundreds of new immigration judges to deal with MS-13 and similar gangs. Trump called for a crackdown on sanctuary cities during his speech.
The President he had a simple message for MS-13 members.
“We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you and we will deport you.”