U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to eradicate the hyperviolent MS-13 transnational criminal gang during a speech he gave while in New York.
Sessions visited Long Island on Friday to deliver a message of hope to the area embattled by MS-13, The New York Times reported.
Speaking at the United States Courthouse in Central Islip, Sessions had a very simple message for MS-13: “We are targeting you.”
“The MS-13 motto is kill, rape and control,” Sessions said. “I have a message to the gangs that are targeting our young people: We are targeting you. We are coming after you.”
The trip by Sessions to Long Island comes after four teenagers were found brutally murdered near a soccer field on April 13. Before Sessions arrival, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Wednesday that a new unit had been created by the New York State Police to combat MS-13. The announcement by Cuomo came just as officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that Long Island is home to over 200 “hardcore members” of MS-13.
However, on Friday some 200 protesters gathered at the courthouse to voice their distaste for Sessions and the Trump administration’s tough stances on illegal immigration.
Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), who invited Sessions to Long Island to meet with local law enforcement, was visibly upset by the protesters.
“They should be on their knees thanking him, not out there protesting,” King said. “It’s shameful, it’s disgraceful that leaders in the community would criticize the attorney general.”
On March 2, 13 MS-13 members, 10 of whom were illegal aliens, were indicted for the murder of two girls and five other individuals in Brentwood, NY.
Sessions said that securing the border and restoring lawful immigration is key to combatting gangs like MS-13. “We cannot continue with this transporting across our border illegal immigrants who have not been properly vetted and actually are part of criminal organizations,” Sessions said.
A poll published on Monday by Rasmussen Reports found that 47 percent of those surveyed agreed that MS-13 should be designated as a terrorist organization while only 17 percent disagreed and 35 percent were unsure. The move to designate MS-13 as a terrorist organization was supported by both Republicans and Democrats surveyed.
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.