- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2017

President Trump on Friday will visit Long Island, New York, an epicenter of the MS-13 street gang violence, to call on Congress to fully fund the crack down on illegal immigration that is key to stamping out the gang.

“He’s going to be rallying Congress to fully support what we in the administration want to do to end this threat once and for all,” said a senior White House official.

For the fight, the president wants thousands of more U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, more immigration judges, laws for quicker deportations and penalties for sanctuary cities, said the official.

Mr. Trump’s visit will highlight the nation’s gang crisis that is evident in Long Island, where the MS-13 gang from Central America has been implicated in nearly 20 killings over the past 18 months.

The spate of violence in Central Islip and Brentwood Communities grabbed the nation’s attention in April when four young men were discovered slaughtered in a park.

“Long Island locations reflects the reality of what is happening,” said the official. “I think it is going to be a very forceful message about just how menacing this threat is and how much pain is inflicted on American communities.”

The president also will meet with local law enforcement officers and also ending a message about his resolve to wipe out the MS-13 gang.

“He’s sending a message to every local police officer, every sheriff, every state trooper and every ICE officer in America that this this administration has their back and that it is encouraging them to work with us collaboratively to identify and remove gang members from their communities,” said the White House official.

The Trump administration has made taking down MS-13 a new focus of it’s hardline approach to illegal immigration.

The gang has flourished amid the massive influx of illegal immigrants from Central America and lax interior enforcement of immigration laws during the Obama administration.

In making the fight against MS-13 a priority, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday was in El Salvador, meeting with his counterpart to organize an attack on the gang in its home base.

The pivot to the fight against MS-13 appeared to calm, at least temporarily, Mr. Trump’s repeated stinging public criticism of Mr. Sessions.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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