A Justice Department report reveals that since the president took office in 2016 more than 600 members of the dangerous El Salvador gang, MS-13 have been arrested, Breitbart reported.
President Trump signed an executive order in 2017 to direct the federal government to fight transnational criminal organizations, including MS-13. U.S. Attorney General Barr said in a statement, “In 2017, the president directed the Department of Justice [DOJ] to go to war against MS-13, and we did just that.”
Since 2016, 749 gang members have been prosecuted by DOJ prosecutors with at least 500 of them were convicted of violent crimes, including 37 who received life sentences and 154 who were sentenced to at least 61 months in federal prison.
In August Barr created a task force with the mission of eradicating the MS-13 gang in coordination with El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
The gang managed to expand in the United States and now has a presence in almost every state, mainly due to gang members entering the United States illegally through the southern border and the little importance that previous administrations gave to the issue, that is, no resources were used to combat them specifically.
Nearly all of the members of this gang arrested since 2016 were illegal aliens and of the rest were not registered nor did they have legal immigration status.
“For decades, MS-13 thrived in the United States by taking advantage of weak immigration enforcement policies,” the report states. “MS-13 recruited and utilized foreign nationals, most often from Central America, who were in the United States illegally,” the Justice Department report details.
Cases related to the Salvadoran gang are extremely violent, with members killing, decapitating, and dismembering their victims for sport only.
“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,” President Trump said in a speech in New York in 2017.
Thanks to the construction of the wall on the southern border, the flow of illegal immigration from Central America was reduced by up to 77% compared to 2019, and this impacted the ability to recruit new MS-13 gang members in the United States.