Officials in El Salvador held emergency meetings after seeing a sharp increase in the number of violent gang members being deported back to the country from the United States under the Trump administration.
Salvadoran authorities have held emergency meetings and proposed new legislation to monitor returning criminals and gang members that are returning to El Salvador after deportation, according to the Washington Post.
This year the U.S. has already deported 398 gang members back to El Salvador – compared to only 534 for all of 2016.
It is due to this rapid increase in deportations that Salvadoran officials like Héctor Antonio Rodríguez, the director of the country’s immigration agency, are worried about the impact the returning gang members will have in the country.
“This clearly affects El Salvador. We already have a climate of violence in the country that we are combating,” Rodríguez said. “If gang members return, of course this worries us.”
Many of the returning gang members belong to MS-13, a notoriously violent street gang that has plagued communities throughout the U.S. with horrific acts of violence. Although MS-13 started out in Salvadoran communities in Los Angeles sometime during the 1980’s, lax immigration policies and weak border security helped the gang explode in size as MS-13 originated from illegal immigrants, Breitbart Texas reported.
The recent murders of four teens in New York City have put MS-13 in the national spotlight with Attorney General Jeff Sessions declaring that U.S. authorities are going after the gang.
“The MS-13 motto is kill, rape, and control,” Sessions said. “I have a message to the gangs that are targeting our young people: We are targeting you. We are coming after you.”
Speaking at a rally in April, President Trump highlighted the importance of removing illegal alien MS-13 gang members from the U.S.:
At the heart of my administration’s efforts to restore the rule of law has been a nationwide crackdown on criminal gangs, and that means taking the fight to the sanctuary cities that shield these dangerous criminals from removal. The last very weak administration allowed thousands and thousands of gang members to cross our borders and enter into our communities, where they wreaked havoc on our citizens. The bloodthirsty cartel known as MS-13 has infiltrated our schools, threatening innocent children.
We have seen the horrible assaults and many killings all along Long Island where I grew up. We are seeing the vicious spread of transnational gangs into all 50 states and the human suffering they bring with them. I have been with the parents. It is devastation. A very respected General recently told me that MS-13 are the equivalent in their meanness to Al Qaeda. My administration will not rest until we have dismantled these violent gangs, and we are doing it rapidly, and we are sending them the hell out of our country.
On Wednesday, Breitbart Texas reported that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said recently obtained documents from a whistleblower show that the Obama administration knowingly admitted 16 MS-13 gang members in 2014.