Trump touts arrests of MS-13 members in Los Angeles

Trump touts arrests of MS-13 members in Los Angeles
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE on Thursday touted the arrests of alleged MS-13 gang members in Los Angeles, adding that the great majority of them were "illegal aliens."

“They are said to have killed many people in the most brutal fashion. They should never have been allowed in our Country for so long, 10 years,” Trump tweeted.

"We have arrested and deported thousands of gang members, in particular MS-13," he added. "ICE and Border Patrol are doing a great job!"

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The men arrested are linked to the killings of four people with machetes, baseball bats and knives in Angeles National Forest, as well as the killings of a homeless man earlier this year in North Hollywood and another person in the Malibu hills, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office told the Times that 19 of the 22 suspects illegally entered the country in the last four years.

Paul Delacourt, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said the killings were motivated by a desire to assert dominance in the Los Angeles area.

“We’re seeing an influx of younger gang members coming into the area associating themselves with the Fulton clique who are extremely violent, who have to commit murders to join the clique,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said, according to the Times.

Trump has frequently invoked the specter of gruesome crimes by the gang to drum up support for his immigration policies. The gang formed in U.S. prisons in the 1980s, later expanding its influence in Central America after large numbers were deported to El Salvador.