Trump’s latest move on immigration will likely empower MS-13 — a group he’s vowed to ‘destroy’

el salvador immigrants

Immigrants from El Salvador are the latest group to see their temporary protect status revoked by the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump has said conditions in El Salvador have improved, allowing TPS holders to return, but the country still faces deep-seated challenges.
One group that Trump has railed against, MS-13, stands to benefit if a large number of Salvadorans are displaced.

The Trump administration said Monday that it would end temporary protected status for Salvadoran immigrants after September 9, 2019, forcing nearly 200,000 immigrants in the US to return to El Salvador or face deportation.

The Trump administration has criticized TPS as a measure that was meant to be temporary, but had been extended into an indefinite benefit for hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the US.

Rescinding the program for Salvadoran — as well as Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Sudanese immigrants — is also part of Trump’s efforts to restrict legal and illegal immigration, which he has linked to crime.

Stripping Salvadorans in the US of their immigration status and forcing thousands of them back to El Salvador — where many have not been since 2001 — is likely to empower MS-13, a group that Trump has accused of turning US communities into “blood-stained killing fields” and vowed to destroy.

MS-13 has its roots in Southern California, where it was formed by migrants fleeing civil war in Central America, El Salvador in particular, in the 1970s and 1980s. The US chose sides in those conflicts, undermining governments and backing forces guilty of abuses, which forced many people to flee, often to the US.

Those migrants formed gangs like MS-13 to protect themselves from other gangs. A US immigration crackdown in the 1990s and 2000s sent many back to the Northern Triangle region of Central America — El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — where their groups flourished in weak countries emerging from long periods of civil conflict.

In the years since, MS-13 and other groups like its main rival, the 18th Street gang, have helped make the Northern Triangle one of the most violent regions of the world.

‘These borders can cause your death’

The TPS deadline set by the Trump administration is more than a year away, and it’s unlikely that all of the roughly 200,000 Salvadorans in the US under TPS — and their thousands of family members — will return, but an influx of people unaccustomed to the area is likely to benefit gangs like MS-13 in two important ways.

“One, it will give them a new set of targets and people with, relatively speaking, more money,” Geoff Thale, program director at the Washington Office on Latin America, told Business Insider.

Second, “it’s going to bring a new population of young people who are potentially recruitable,” he said.

“Everybody understands that both there and [in the US] it’s vulnerable kids who don’t know their way around a particular community … who are the most likely to be targeted by …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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