So all those stories we’ve seen about how federal law enforcement is deporting more gang members and other criminals than ever and reducing illegal border crossings by up to 70 percent?
All lies, according to an article published Friday on the CNN website, entitled “MS-13 members: Trump makes the gang stronger.”
Yes, as CNN admitted, “law enforcement efforts appear to be bearing fruit.” The story focused on MS-13 activity on Long Island, where 13 suspected MS-13 members were arrested in March on charges related to seven murders over the last three years and where federal prosecutors last week brought a 59-count indictment against four suspects in brutal slayings that took place in April.
According to an ICE official, through June, officers already had arrested 3,311 gang members this year, 357 of whom were suspected to belong to MS-13. In all of fiscal 2016, 5,112 were arrested, including 429 MS-13 members. In half a year, police already have arrested 83 percent as many MS-13 members as all last year.
So many have been sent back that El Salvador has become concerned its own gang violence problem will get worse.
So CNN found some anecdotal evidence in the form of interviews with two purported MS-13 gang members and numerous people it described as illegal aliens on Long Island who said President Trump has enabled the gangs to grow stronger.
One was a mom who said it must be getting worse because her son has been beaten up twice by MS-13 members and illegal aliens are reluctant to report crimes to the police.
But membership in the gangs continues to decline, efforts at eradication continue to strengthen, prosecutors continue to throw the book at gang defendants and the president continues to use both his bully pulpit and statutory power to encourage police to drive gangs from the streets.
If that means stronger gangs, then maybe the definition of stronger gangs has changed. Because usually when organizations are losing members to deportations and lengthy prison sentences, they are not growing stronger.