President Trump will travel to Brentwood, N.Y., Friday afternoon to use the Long Island town beset by gang violence to highlight his efforts to stop illegal immigration and boost deportations, reports Reuters. Trump will cite his administration’s push to deport members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, better known as MS-13. He has blamed the gang’s broad reach in the U.S. on lax enforcement of illegal immigration from Central America. “It’s going to be a very forceful message about just how menacing this threat is, and just how much pain is inflicted on American communities,” a senior administration official told reporters ahead of the trip.
Trump’s visit comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to El Salvador to highlight progress on the gang crack-down. MS-13 took root in Los Angeles in the 1980s in neighborhoods populated with immigrants from El Salvador who had fled civil war. The Justice Department has said MS-13 now has more than 10,000 members across the U.S. Brentwood is 30 miles from Queens, where Trump grew up. MS-13 was behind the murders of two teenage girls in that suburb last September and four young men in a park in April. There have been 17 murders on Long Island tied to the gang since January 2016, police say.