MS-13 Resurgence Linked to Lack of Immigration Enforcement

Violent El Salvadoran gang thrives, especially in sanctuary cities…

Trump Deports Hundreds of MS-13 Gang Members(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) The Center for Immigration Studies released a report and an interactive map on Wednesday concerning the growing threat on American soil from an El Salvadoran gang that has expanded its presence in recent years.

CIS said MS-13 increasingly threatens American neighborhoods because of immigration policies that allow the gang to thrive in the United States.

CIS said the gang’s resurgence is the result of the resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths (or “unaccompanied alien children”) and families that started in 2012, and the de-prioritization of interior immigration enforcement under the Obama administration that occurred around the same time.

“Failed immigration policies are partly responsible for the rebound of MS-13, and immigration enforcement will have to be a key part of the strategy to combat them,” wrote Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at CIS, in the report. “Because so many of the MS-13 members are here illegally, they are more vulnerable to these tactics.”

Vaughan added that many of the hotbeds of MS-13 activity are places where local officials have adopted sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from federal authorities.


“If state and local law enforcement agencies are not allowed to cooperate fully with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], then they are missing out on an opportunity to put a dent in this gang’s strength,” Vaughan continued. “In addition, Congress must act to fix our laws to give DHS more flexibility in dealing both with the influx of minors and families and with the sanctuaries.”


President George W. Bush cracked down on MS-13 in 2005 with Operation Community Shield, when federal immigration agencies like ICE helped local law enforcement disrupt gangs, according to CIS.

Under President Obama, however, ICE agents were not allowed to arrest and remove 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,” the report stated.