Jessica Vaughn, a director at the Center for Immigration studies, published an alarming report on Wednesday, stating that the violent and deadly MS-13 gang has been rebuilding itself within the United States, and has spread to 22 states.
The report states that the growth of the gang is due to the invasion of over 300,000 illegal aliens which came into the U.S. during the Obama administration, and said within the past five years, over 500 MS-13 members have been arrested for major crimes, including 207 murders.
Among those arrested were 120 “dreamers”, with 48 of those were charged for murder.
“The resurgence is directly connected to the illegal arrival and resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths and families that has continued unabated for six years, and to a de-prioritization of immigration enforcement in the interior of the country that occurred at the same time,” Vaughn writes.
The report includes the following critical data:
- We found 506 MS-13 members arrested or charged with crimes that were reported in 22 states. The most cases were reported in California (92), Maryland (85), New York (80), and Virginia (63).
- MS-13 crimes are not primarily petty nuisance crimes; 207 MS-13 members were charged with murder. In addition we found more than 100 accused of conspiracy/racketeering, and dozens of others for drug trafficking, sex trafficking, attempted murder, sexual assaults, and extortion.
- While most of the reports of MS-13 suspects in our case set did not include information on the immigration status of the individual, we could determine that 126 of the 506 suspects (and 38 of the 207 murder suspects) were illegal aliens.
- The median age of MS-13 gang members identified was 23, and suspects ranged in age from 14 to 57.
- The median age of their victims was 19, and victims ranged in age from 14 to 74. Sixty of the victims were under the age of 18, including 52 of the murder victims.
- 120 of the 506 MS-13 suspects in our case set arrived as UACs (Unaccompanied Alien Children), including 48 of the murder suspects.
- The location of these MS-13 crimes corresponds with locations of large numbers of UACs who were resettled by the federal government.
The report notes that policy changes by the Obama administration allowed the MS-13 gang to grow and spread:
Documented gang members often were arrested on administrative immigration violations, which had the effect of disrupting the gang’s activities and ridding communities of troublemakers. In addition, these lower-level arrests often led to more significant criminal investigations of gang leaders and the dismantling of local MS-13 cliques.
The Obama administration revised these policies, however, and ICE field offices were directed to cease efforts to disrupt gangs by arresting members for immigration violations or minor crimes and instead focus on major conspiracy cases. ICE officers were no longer permitted to arrest and remove foreign gang members until they had been convicted of major crimes. Gang arrests by ICE plummeted from about 4,600 in 2012 to about 1,580 in 2014.