President Donald Trump celebrated the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) success against MS-13 gangs on Wednesday at the White House.
“We will not allow these animals to terrorize our communities and my administration will not rest until every member of MS-13 is brought to justice,” Trump said during an Oval Office event on Wednesday.
Attorney General Bill Barr briefed Trump on the success against MS-13 and other gangs in the United States as a result of federal Joint Task Force Vulcan. According to the White House, U.S. Border Patrol arrested 464 MS-13 members in fiscal year 2019 — an 83 percent increase from 2016.
Barr said that MS-13 was unique in its savagery, which is why the gang was targeted by federal law enforcement.
“It’s about the honor of being the most savage bloodthirsty person you can be and building up your reputation as a killer,” Barr said. “This is, in some ways, a death cult.”
Barr said that MS-13 was once a highly organized transnational organization, but the DOJ has had great success fighting it in areas like California, New York, and Nevada.
The DOJ announced in January that it would seek the death penalty for an MS-13 leader in Virginia and another in New York after he was charged with the death of seven people, including two teenage girls.
“We believe that monsters who murder children should be put to death,” Trump said.
Trump said that over 2,000 members of MS-13 had been arrested during his administration as well as 16,000 other transnational gang members. He added that the administration would ramp up its efforts against them.
Trump said that he would continue to pursue MS-13 and support strong border polices to keep its members out.
“When Biden and the radical left want to open up borders for MS-13 and others, we want strong borders,” he said.