Albany, NY - On Wednesday, April 26, Governor Cuomo announced that he would be sending 25 New York State Police troopers to Long Island to help with the notorious MS-13 gang, according to The New York Daily News. Governor Cuomo said that MS-13 "was an international criminal organization that is as brazen as it is brutal." However, the Governmor also announced that the troopers wouldn't be using what could be an effective tool to stop the gang: Immigration enforcement.
The governor said that everything would be done that could be done to eliminate the organization. Yet, in the very next breath, the Governor said that "the troopers' mission was not to enforce immigration laws," and he urged the immigrant community to cooperate with officers.
The 25 troopers that are being deployed to Suffolk County will work with local police officers and federal agents. The State Police are creating a 'new, high-intensity, anti-gang unit that would include electronic surveillance equipment and aviation units.' However, they won't use the tool of immigration enforcement against this gang, which would allow many of the gang's members to be deported.
Police believe that MS-13 is responsible for at least 10 murders in Suffolk County in recent months, including the April 12 massacre of four teenagers at a local park. In that incident, the teenagers were beaten and stabbed to death. Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said on April 13 that they were 'at war' with MS-13.
Commissioner Sini also said that evidence had been found that showed MS-13 had been threatening local families to become legal guardians for gang members.
And on Friday, April 28, Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference in Long Island's Central Islip area. He told local police commissioners and sheriffs that he would eliminate the violent gang MS-13 by cracking down on illegal immigration.
AG Sessions said that 'the gang, which is linked to the country of El Salvador, carries a threat similar to the Colombian cartels and the mafia.' He said the way they operate is to smuggle known gang members across the border and then recruit younger members.
MS-13 is also known as La Salva Maratrucha, originated in the U.S. as a Los Angeles street gang in the 1980s, with its members refugees from El Salvador. There are an estimated 10,000 members in the United States.
He also said that President Trump was very aware of what was going on in Suffolk County, reference the alarming violence connected to MS-13. He said that the MS-13 motto is "kill, rape, and control," and that "our motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals."
AG Sessions described his method for dealing with the problem very simply: prosecute them, convict them, and deport them if they're not here lawfully. He also said that he is adding prosecutors to the Eastern District of New York.
Jeff Sessions further said that the first step in fighting illegal gangs like MS-13 is to secure the border and "restore a lawful system of immigration. He strongly criticized the 'lawless practice' of sanctuary cities.
His final words to MS-13: "We are coming after you."
Of course, New York City is a sanctuary city, and Mayor de Blasio has designated $16.4 million for 'immigrant legal services, to assist people in detention, children coming to the country unaccompanied and asylum seekers', according to The New York Times.
Thank you, AG Sessions, for your plan of action to restore safety and a more normal way of life for the residents of Suffolk County, and for being honest and straightforward about decisions and consequences. The streets of Suffolk County have run red long enough.