Trump Praises Law Enforcement in Fighting MS-13 Gang

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci walks down the steps of Air Force One after arriving at Long Island Mac Arthur Airport in Ronkonkoma N.Y. Friday

Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to ramp up border security, has in recent months begun highlighting the threat from MS-13, whose formal name is La Mara Salvatrucha, a gang formed in Los Angeles decades ago with ties to El Salvador and Honduras.

"We are saddened and outraged to see President Trump seek to use local tragedies for political gain and particularly to fuel his hateful anti-immigrant agenda", Walter Barrientos, a member of the activist group Make the Road NY, said at a news conference in Brentwood Thursday.

MS-13 violence has plagued Long Island.

"I thank President Trump for making it a priority to travel to Long Island tomorrow to address the administration's determined efforts to eradicate this violent street gang".

The visit will be to the Brentwood campus of Suffolk County Community College, a neighborhood where MS-13 is known to frequent, committing ruthless killings. Investigators said Cuevas had been feuding verbally with gang members.

Long Island is now at the heart of the nation's immigration debate; MS-13 gang violence and murders have gripped its suburban communities.

Trump has vowed to crack down on the gang and deport people involved in the gang regardless of whether they are convicted of crimes. Although the majority of its estimated 30,000 members are based in Central America, U.S. officials believe that 6,000 members are scattered across 46 states in cities like Los Angeles-where the gang originated-Washington, D.C., and on Long Island in NY.

Sessions has said MS-13 is "a group of murderers, traffickers and thugs".

In Brentwood, about 30 miles (50 km) east of New York City, MS-13 was behind the murders of two teenage girls last September and four young men in a park in April, authorities said.

Maria Teresa Kumar, chief executive of Voto Latino, said the comments from Trump and his aides are "simply an attempt to incite fear as a means to justify aggressive deportation efforts and costly border security policies".

"It is greatly unfortunate that some people plan to line the streets in opposition to the President's visit, shamefully alleging that the President's motive is to "attack immigrants" and 'hard working American families, '" he said. "We got to tell people it's not okay to violate laws in this country".

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