Inside ICE’s controversial crackdown on MS-13

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First on “CBS This Morning,” we’re getting uncommon entry to Operation Matador, a joint regulation enforcement effort led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations workforce, to crackdown on MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, and different trans-national gangs.

Federal officers will announce Thursday a breakthrough within the battle towards MS-13, a gang from El Salvador. Hundreds of accused gang members and badociates are underneath arrest, however its violence is spreading in American neighborhoods. 

CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan went to one of many deadliest battlegrounds, Long Island, New York. They’ve made 345 arrests on Long Island and within the surrounding New York City space since May. 

The goal of the pre-dawn raid was a suspected member of MS-13 who had illegally entered the U.S. The workforce of 12 immigration brokers and native police anticipated the 20-year-old suspect to be armed.

“He entered the country illegally so – and then he went through the immigration process and a judge ordered him removed,” stated Jason Molina, badistant particular agent in cost.

“We know he’s an MS-13 member?” Brennan stated.

“Yes. We have information, we have pictures of him actually flashing gang signs,” Molina stated.
 
But gang membership isn’t a criminal offense, and the brokers didn’t have a prison warrant. They solely weapons they discovered had been “either pellet guns or BB guns,” Molina stated.  

But Molina’s workforce was nonetheless in a position to make the arrest primarily based on the suspect’s immigration standing – a part of the distinctive mandate of the Homeland Security investigations unit of ICE. An hour later, they nabbed a second suspect. Molina stated he’s an MS-13 affiliate. 

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“So his known crime is entering the country illegally?” Brennan requested.

“Correct,” Molina stated.

“But that’s it at this point, that’s all you definitely know?” Brennan requested.

“That’s correct. The purpose of clbadifying him as a gang member or a gang badociate is because once he goes in front of an immigration judge, we don’t want him to get bail, because the whole point of this operation is to get these known gang members off the street,” Molina stated.
 
Both males had been taken right here to Alfonse M. D’Amato federal courthouse with plans to query after which deport them. The courthouse can be residence to the command heart for Molina’s workforce. They have a warmth map displaying areas the place gang members are recognized to reside, Molina stated.

On a residential avenue in close by Brentwood, a person was discovered brutally crushed to demise final yr. Molina stated he believes it was MS-13.

A month prior, two teenage women had been murdered a mile away. Police suspect MS-13 gang members.
 
President Trump has railed towards MS-13 repeatedly since taking workplace.

“They don’t shoot people because it’s too fast and not painful. They cut them up into little pieces,” Mr. Trump stated in August. “MS-13 are the equivalent in their meanness to al Qaeda.”

“They kidnap. They extort. They rape and they rob,” Mr. Trump has additionally stated. His administration factors to undocumented immigrants within the gang to emphasize the necessity for stricter immigration coverage.
 
On Long Island, Mr. Trump acknowledged the work of ICE’s appearing director Tom Homan, calling him “a tough guy” and “tough cookie.”

Homan stated he felt his palms had been tied prior to now, however since Mr. Trump’s election, ICE has been in a position to make extra arrests – partially as a result of this administration permits him to prioritize any particular person who crosses the border illegally, not simply those that have dedicated different crimes. 

“The NGOs and the advocates can say what they want. Everybody has their day in court,” Homan stated.
 
But immigration advocates complain that is merely a backdoor technique to implement a heavy-handed immigration coverage.

“So the charges of racial profiling you flatly deny?” Brennan requested.

“People can make allegations all day long. I got 20,000 American patriots that work for ICE,” Homan responded. “These are men and women who do their job honorably. They get up every morning, strap a gun to their hip and leave the safety of their homes and their families to protect communities, to protect people they’ll never meet and they’ll never know.”

Homan stated the Trump administration is sending the message to Central and South America that for those who get previous the border, you aren’t residence free. He attributed the current lower in southern border crossings to that stance.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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