The brutal, largely illegal immigrant-filled MS-13 street gang has become a major focus of the U.S. Department of Justice recently and Americans should know the facts about them. The gang is dangerous and they are spread across the U.S. Here are five facts every American should know about MS-13.
1. Most of the members of MS-13 are foreign nationals from El Salvador or first-generation immigrants from Central America.
Most U.S. citizens are unaware that our porous border with Mexico is used by MS-13 to sneak into the country and perpetrate crimes on U.S. soil. Foreign nationals exploit our border and some fill the ranks of this brutal street gang. A threat assessment from the FBI states, “Members of Mara Salvatrucha, better known as MS-13, who are mostly Salvadoran nationals or first generation Salvadoran-Americans, but also Hondurans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other Central and South American immigrants.”
2. MS-13 members work as foot soldiers for Mexican cartels on U.S. soil.
Two Minnesota teens were kidnapped and tortured — with one nearly having a finger cut off — by MS-13 members working on behalf of the Mexican Sinaloa Federation (cartel). A Sinaloa Cartel stash house for methamphetamine was robbed in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Sinaloa Cartel hired MS-13 gang members from Los Angeles, California, to fly to Minnesota and investigate. The MS-13 members found two local teens and tortured them in an effort to obtain information.
3. MS-13 originated from illegal immigrants in California, yet liberals blame deportations for the gang’s creation.
According to information published by the National Gang Crime Research Center, MS-13 was started by Salvadoran illegal immigrants who fled to the U.S. in an attempt to escape a raging civil war in that country that had killed more than 70,000 people. When the illegal immigrants arrived in California, they began to band together as a way to protect themselves from the Mexican Mafia, the dominant gang in California at the time. By 1993, the MS-13 and the Mexican Mafia had become allies and further developed their criminal activities. What pushed the gang out of the U.S. and into Central America was the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act which called for the deportation of illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. The arrest and deportation of MS-13 gang members spread the gang’s presence throughout Central America; or as most conservatives would likely argue, none of this would have occurred had the illegal immigrants not been in the U.S. in the first place.
4. MS-13 members often pose a greater threat to Border Patrol agents than the Mexican cartels the gang works under.
Foreign street gang members crossing our porous border are much more prone to attack Border Patrol agents than the Mexican cartels operating the region or others. According to Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza, “These gang members are highly volatile and unpredictable. They are much more likely to attack us with no concern for the consequences.” Agent Garza spoke to Breitbart Texas in his role as a vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.
5. The State of Texas considers MS-13 to be a Tier 1-level threat, or the “most significant” threat level.
Texas law enforcement officials have classified the MS-13 as a Tier 1-level threat due to the gang posing the greatest gang threat to Texas due to their relationships with Mexican cartels, their high levels of transnational criminal activity, their levels of violence, and overall statewide presence, the Texas DPS Gang Threat Assesment revealed. Tier 1 gangs present a unique threat due to their close relationship with Mexican drug cartels and their willingness to carry out violence for hire on behalf of those cartels. Texas law enforcement officials have seen a direct relation between the number of MS13 encountered by law enforcement and the Central America illegal immigration spikes seen in recent years.
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.