March 6, 2019

Violent MS-13 Crossing Border, Spreading Throughout U.S.

Begun by Salvadorans in LA in the ’70s, the gang has spread all over America.

Sex trafficking, child prostitution, murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking, human trafficking, extortion, money laundering, prostitution, racketeering, assault, kidnapping, and arms trafficking.

This is just a sampling of the criminal, often violent activities engaged in by Mara Salvatrucha, otherwise known as MS-13; a vicious, brutal Salvadoran street gang now firmly rooted in the U.S.

MS-13 was formed in Los Angeles in the late 1970s by Salvadorans fleeing their own country’s civil war. Today, there are an estimated 30,000-50,000 MS-13 gang members, having spread from LA into nearly every state in the U.S., and throughout Central and South America.

The horrific violence waged by MS-13 in El Salvador has become so bad that Salvadoran police officers are fleeing their own country and seeking asylum in the U.S., fearing for their lives and the lives of their families.

In an effort to bring stability to the region south of our border, the U.S. government spent nearly $50 million opening a law-enforcement academy in San Salvador, with the FBI and other U.S. law-enforcement agencies training nearly a thousand police officers in El Salvador, as well as Honduras and Guatemala, between 2014 and 2017.

The government tried an “iron fist” strategy of heavy crackdowns on MS-13, but it ultimately failed, leading the government to enter a truce with the gang to stem the bloodshed. The effort helped, bringing the Salvadoran murder rate down from a staggering 60.8 murders per 100,000 residents to a slightly less staggering 50.3 murders per 100,000.

Unfortunately, the truce was soon broken, the violence surged again, and now the murder rate includes a frightening number of police officers. The murder of police officers has become a sort of gang “currency,” earning those who kill cops more respect, prestige, and power within the gang. But MS-13 no longer targets just the cops; they now target their families as well.

Police officers in El Salvador only earn between $300 and $400 per month, which means they often live in the same poor, gang-infested areas they are policing. This puts them and their families at extreme risk, and MS-13 is now so brazen that they murder police officers and their families in their own homes.

As one anonymous anti-gang unit officer — awaiting refugee status after being threatened at home by MS-13 gang members — explained, “They have more control than we do. When we go home, we’re in neighborhoods where there’s one police [officer] to 100 gang members. We’re easy victims.” Another officer, shot 12 times in two separate attacks, filed a refugee application that included a letter from his commander, telling him “There’s nothing we can do for you. You need to protect yourself.”

Just how much control does MS-13 have? Earlier this year, El Salvador’s police chief warned officers not to return to their homes because they could not be protected there. In response, Salvadoran police officers are fleeing their homeland by the dozens, seeking asylum in the United States and other countries.

MS-13 is no longer just an El Salvador or Los Angeles problem. It is a cancer that has metastasized and spread throughout the country; it’s a threat we must take seriously.

Last year, Democrats berated President Trump for calling MS-13 gang members “animals.” Then-House Minority Leader (now Speaker) Nancy Pelosi scolded Trump, calling his comments “inhumane,” and asserting, “We’re all God’s children.” She then asked, “Does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?”

This was after a string of violent crimes in which two MS-13 gang members violently murdered a teenage girl in Texas as an offering to Satan, and after MS-13 gang members in Maryland stabbed a man more than 100 times before cutting out his heart and cutting off his head. Other gang members stoned an 18-year-old boy to death and dumped his body under a bridge.

As conservative columnist Dennis Prager wisely rebutted, “Biologically, of course, we are all human. But if ‘human’ is to mean anything moral — anything beyond the purely biological — then some people who have committed particularly heinous acts of evil against other human beings are not to be considered human. Otherwise ‘human’ has no moral being.”

Despite indisputable evidence that MS-13 gang members have infiltrated migrant caravans and used them as cover for drug smuggling, human trafficking, and murder, the Democrats dishonestly distort the issue, claiming migrants are just good people seeking work and a better life. Many are, but some are bloodthirsty killers.

And the problem gets worse by the day, aided by the Democrats not only refusing to help President Trump secure our border, but actively seeking to prevent him from doing so.

In New York, police officers have been warned to be vigilant while off-duty because it appears MS-13 gang members have been scouting out where they live to prepare for future attacks. In Texas, in February alone, at least seven MS-13 gang members were captured illegally crossing the border in a single sector.

If that many were apprehended, how many more got through to engage in the rape, murder, kidnapping, and sex trafficking of American girls and women?

From Maryland middle schools to Boston streets to Virginia suburbs to Houston neighborhoods, MS-13 now stalks our wives, our children, our neighbors, and our friends.

This threat must be taken seriously and acted on immediately. The blood of future innocent victims is on Democrat hands if they block that action.

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