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Report: MS-13 responsible for 200 murders in 22 States since 2012

February 22, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Report: MS-13 responsible for 200 murders in 22 States since 2012

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A new report published by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reveals that the ultra-violent MS-13 gang has spread to 22 states in the U.S.

The group was responsible for 207 killings since 2012, which mostly occurred in California, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. The rapid increase is attributed to the influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children from countries in Central America, such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

CIS Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan examined MS-13 gang activity over the past six years and learned of the arrests of 506 MS-13 gang members who were charged with offenses in 22 states. Of those, 207 were homicides and over 100 cases were racketeering, drug and sex trafficking, attempted murder, sexual assault, and extortion.

Of the 506 MS-13 gang members taken into custody, 126 were identified in reports as undocumented migrants.

Map Data: Center for Immigration Studies

The number is probably higher as many states do not reveal the legal status of the accused in their reports. Of the 207 accused killers, 38 were illegal aliens.

“The Trump administration has declared war on MS-13, the brutal gang based in El Salvador,” Vaughan said in the report. “A similar initiative launched by the Bush administration in 2005 stifled the gang’s activity, but the gang has been able to rebuild itself since 2012.”

“All gangs are a threat to public safety, but MS-13 is a unique problem because of the unusually brutal crimes its members have committed, its success in using intimidation to victimize and control, and its focus on recruiting young members, often in schools,” she continued.

Vaughan linked the resurgence of MS-13 membership and their crimes to the influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that started in 2014.

She noted that the crimes carried out by MS-13 are focused in the areas with large numbers of UACs who were resettled across the U.S. by the government.

“Today, a smaller percentage of MS-13 members is believed to be here illegally. Some are U.S.-born, others have green cards or Temporary Protected Status; some have Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” Vaughan indicated.

“But when the gang leadership decided to launch a concerted effort to enlarge in the U.S., it was able to take advantage of the Obama administration’s catch-and-release policies for unaccompanied minors to move in younger members from Central America.”

“At a roundtable of officials convened at the White House by Trump on February 6th, to discuss the MS-13 problem, Rep. Peter King said that MS-13 members had committed 17 murders in an 18-month period, representing 38% of all homicides in his district,” the CIS policy studies director said. “The number of MS-13-related murders in Montgomery County, Maryland has gone from one a year to seven in the last two years.”

The gang seems to focus the majority of its offenses on young people. Over 50% of victims were between the ages of 14 and 21. The majority of the members arrested were between 14- and 29-years-old.

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