Trump has made cracking down on MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, a top priority of his administration.

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — President Donald Trump came to the doorstep of Suffolk communities hard-hit by gang violence Friday and vowed to help police eradicate the MS-13 gang.

Trump shook hands with some officers as he took the stage at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. He was greeted with chants of “USA! USA!”


Director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, July 28, 2017, to travel with President Donald Trump to Brentwood, N.Y. close to where the ultra-violent street gang MS-13 has committed a string of gruesome murders. (AP Andrew Harnik)

“I am the big, big admirer, and believer, in law enforcement, from day one,” he said. “We are going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other criminal gangs.”

Addressing gang members, Trump vowed: “We will find you, we will jail you and we will deport you.”

“These are animals,” he said of the gang, saying they liked their victims to “die slowly.”

Trump told police officers in attendance, “We have your backs 100 percent, not like in the old days.” Police cheered the remark.

“It’s a whole new world,” he said. “We have started nipping it in the bud.”

Trump, who grew up in Queens, said he was surprised by the gang violence on Long Island.

“I grew up on Long Island,” he said. “I didn’t know about this. … I never thought I’d be up here talking about liberating the towns of Long Island, where I grew up.”

The president veered onto other topics, briefly touting what he said was a stronger economy and decrying the failure of his effort to repeal Obamacare.

“You can’t have everything, boy oh boy,” he said, adding that he would let the health care system “implode.”

And the president said, “We will build the wall,” referring to his proposal to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico. “The wall is vital as a tool for ending the humanitarian disaster.”

Trump blamed former President Barack Obama’s immigration policies for allowing a surge of criminals into the country.

Trump spoke for 37 minutes. He departed from MacArthur Airport about 3:20 p.m.

The president was introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who called the president a “great advocate” for law enforcement. “President Trump knows that blue lives do matter,” he said. “MS-13 is going to be destroyed, and we’re not going to worry about political correctness.”

Among Trump’s requests to Congress will be: 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers; a substantial increase in immigration judges; expedited removal of Central Americans; and legislation to punish sanctuary cities, a White House official said.

In his first visit to Long Island since taking office, Trump addressed hundreds of Long Island law enforcement personnel at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus. Also attending was Evelyn Rodriguez, mother of MS-13 victim Kayla Cuevas. Police say she attended at the invitation of the White House.

Immigrant advocate groups, however, are protesting what they called his administration’s harsh deportation policies that go beyond targeting criminals. Some also protested other Trump policies, such as his recent Twitter vow to bar transgender people from serving in the military.

Trump has touted his administration’s effort to crack down on MS-13 in recent days as he deals with the unsuccessful effort to repeal Obamacare in Congress and a shake-up of his communications staff.

“We are throwing MS-13 the hell out of here so fast,” Trump said at a Tuesday night rally in Youngstown, Ohio.

Federal law enforcement officials announced the indictments last week of 14 suspected MS-13 gang members on Long Island, including nine accused of bludgeoning and hacking four young men to death in a Central Islip park in April. And Friday, New York City police charged two men who they said were MS-13 members from Hempstead with a murder in Queens.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said before the speech, “I expect to hear a thank you for the hard working men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department.”

Asked to respond to immigrant advocates who say they’re as afraid of immigration agents as they are of gang members, he said his officers don’t ask for immigration status of victims or witnesses. “Of course we protect victims. That said, we’re aggressively targeting MS-13. I’m not going to apologize for that,” he said.

John Becker, president of Suffolk Sheriff’s Department Police Benevolent Association, said, “For the first time in many years we feel we have a president who supports law enforcement.” He said his own members supported Trump “overwhelmingly.”

King and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said they plan to fly from Washington, D.C., with Trump.

“The Trump administration will do everything possible to eliminate MS-13 and protect the good people living in communities such as Brentwood and Central Islip, who have been terrorized by MS-13 for too long,” King said in a statement.

Immigrant rights groups held protests at Brentwood State Park at noon Friday.

“We say, loud and clear, that after months of vilifying our communities, he is not welcome here,” said Walter Barrientos of Make The Road New York, an immigrant advocacy group, on Thursday.

SCCC vice chairman Jim Morgo said the college had “no choice” but to allow Trump to speak on campus, although he noted the college’s diversity.

“Suffolk Community College epitomizes the American ideals of opportunity and inclusion,” Morgo said. “When you think of President Trump, you don’t think of these values.”

The campus where Trump spoke at is near the Central Islip and Brentwood neighborhoods that have been the sites of brutal killings attributed by law enforcement to MS-13.

©2017 Newsday

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
  1. Wendy Aston 12 months ago
    Member Since: 04/03/15

    To hell with these ILLEGAL immigrant advocacy groups. They are even more unwelcome here! Go Trump!

  2. victor 12 months ago

    What does this have to do with self defense? I don’t come to you for shoddily regurgitated news, I come to you for self defense.

    • Author
      theselfdefenseco 12 months ago
      Member Since: 01/24/18

      Victor, if you don’t think STREET CRIME and law enforcement have anything to do with self defense…you’ve come to the wrong place.

      This DIRECTLY effects how we live our lives.

      This is the first time a sitting president has called out a street gang…I think this is fairly significant.

      By the way…can you tell me which membership you have, I couldn’t locate your account with your email?

      • Laura 11 months ago
        Member Since: 08/08/17

        Well said, Mr. Ross. And this is coming from a natural born citizen who detests President Trump. So, for me to, not only, be pleasantly surprised by the interest and action he has expressed taking regarding this matter…. so far as to cheer him on? Well, it takes a lot. Keeping up to date with ALL violence reported in the media…. including, but not limited to, gang/street violence, helps us AVOID running into a situation where we would NEED to defend ourselves. Knowledge is power. Let’s not even mention that, statistically, a mugging or an attack of opportunity, perhaps somewhere in your own neighborhood or by your work….places where you frequent…. you’re most at risk (psychologically, we tend to let our guards down in familiar territory, because we believe ourselves to be safe…. because we’ve left the office late at night 100 times and nothing has happened when walking to the car alone…etc….this is the perfect setup for a predador who operates based on opportunity ). Not to mention that street crime (along with ALL crime) helps identify patterns in criminology. This allows for crime scene linkage, identifying an M.O. or a signature…. all Patterns….. these patterns must be identified in order to catch the culprit(s) so you can walk home safe with your loved ones every night and, hopefully, won’t need to use the self defense you’re learning. Also, posting the article in question is not a political statement- it’s relevant to the topic of self defense, and it also serves as a warning. Trump has pledged to help the Suffolk County Police (More specifically, I’m assuming, a Suffolk-sanctioned gang task force) to apprehend and eliminate this threat…. I was impressed. And, like I said, Republican or Democrat, Trump fan or not, street crime directly effects our lives, as Damian Ross states above. responsible for such heinous murders
        The simple act of drawing national attention to the dangerous nature of this gang and their hunting grounds helps minimize the victim pool.

        If you live in the aforementioned Long Island towns: Brentwood, Central Islip, or surrounding areas- be on your guard. Now is not the time to go roaming around a public park late at night. Keep an eye on your children. With information, we are better armed against the enemy (mentally, what it means to be aware…to be smart….and physically, as means of defense only, not as an act of vigilante justice).

        Now, I have literally just signed up for this training, and I haven’t read any of the materials yet. So I do hope my opinion, which was based on previously attained knowledge as well as simple reasoning, isn’t completely wrong. But, even if the novel-length response to Damian’s response is proved wrong, I won’t be bitter. I’m happy to be corrected and learn everything I can from a trusted source! I’m excited to start taking control of my life to the point where I, at least, have a fighting chance in a (God forbid) life or death situation.


        • Author
          theselfdefenseco 11 months ago
          Member Since: 01/24/18

          WOW – great post Laura.

          I’m completely impressed and for more than the just the reasons you’ve stated.

          You didn’t let your preconceived notions about Trump effect your judgement of the message.


          Look at the message – believe me there’s a few things he does that leave me scratching my head.

          Anyone who follows anything BLINDLY is dangerous – something with which I’m very familiar.

          Martial Arts are very similar to religion and politics and people follow them with EXTREME prejudice. They mindlessly repeat whatever they hear, never taking the time to reflect it against their own experience and common sense.

          It’s a personality trait I REALLY DISLIKE.

          So here you are (obviously NOT a trump fan) but you didn’t see TRUMP and shut down – you actually READ THE ARTICLE and found the meaning.

          Holy crap – you’re one of the few who actually go past the headline.

          I think you’ll fit in here.

          Thanks for joining….

          Oh, and please NEVER hesitate to question me.


    • Jerry 12 months ago
      Member Since: 07/13/15

      “SITUATIONAL AWARENESS and AVOIDANCE are essential for successful self-defense. So social order and legal law enforcement policies and activities that reduce criminal activity, also decrease the potential for us and our loved ones to become victimized. We are all more likely to AVOID potential harm if there is less “criminal activity” in our communities . I would like to see everyone who is serious about self-defense, to support the legal actions of their local law enforcement personnel who help to safeguard all of us, especially when their effectiveness is supported by our politicians!

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