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Thread: The Consequences of Ignorance: Clueless Long Islanders Protest AG Sessions

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    The Consequences of Ignorance: Clueless Long Islanders Protest AG Sessions

    The Consequences of Ignorance: Clueless Long Islanders Protest AG Sessions

    April 28, 2017

    Joseph J. Kolb

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Long Island today demonstrating a firm commitment to assist local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as they work to end the MS-13 gang's stranglehold on communities such as Brentwood, N.Y.

    As we’ve seen so many times with this administration, no good deed goes unpunished. As AG Sessions was talking with stakeholders trying to control the scourge of this transnational gang, which continues to be fueled by the placement of unaccompanied children (UACs) from Central America, outside the venue more than 100 demonstrators protested the Trump immigration policies. The very immigration policies that would contribute to their safety.

    Placards included “Stop breaking families apart” and “Stop the war on women, minorities, the poor, immigrants - RESIST!”

    Comfortable in their ignorance, the closest most of these demonstrators have ever been to the border was a Taco Bell in Brentwood. I don't mean to be flippant about this, but I grew up, worked, and resided in Brentwood for the formative years of my life. And my fellowship with the Center for Immigration Studies has supported my research on the impact that the flood of more than 4,000 UACs there has had on the kind of vicious crime MS-13 is notorious for. I am well aware of the violence this gang has wrought in the community. And yet the protesters have the audacity to demonstrate against the very person who is there to aid in mitigating the violence that has claimed more than 30 young lives in the past seven years, and more than a dozen in just the past year and a half.

    I've met the mothers of many of the victims whom MS-13 butchered on Long Island. I am confident that the mothers of Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens were not among those protesting Sessions. These mothers, who lost 16-year-old daughters at the hands of MS-13 killers, are asking why more isn't getting done. Or why the Office of Refugee Resettlement continues to place UACs in Brentwood, replenishing a recruiting pool for the gang.

    Law enforcement is being bolstered to apprehend the killers of four teens in Central Islip, N.Y., this month. But for every arrest that is made, the ranks will continue to swell until UACs are stopped from entering Suffolk County.

    That’s what these people should be demonstrating against. They should be highlighting the impact this crime wave has had on the reputation of their communities, their property values, and the safety of their children. They obviously don’t see that. All they see is a perceived injustice against immigrants, illegal immigrants at that.

    Perhaps rather than echo political rhetoric on an issue they have no knowledge about, they should be shown the crime scene photos of Cuevas and Mickens and the four kids mutilated in the Central Islip Park, or the remains of the teens unearthed at Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital. Then perhaps their outrage would be better directed at the poorly conceived and supervised immigration policy that contributed to these children's deaths.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 04-28-2017 at 05:25 PM.
    MW, grandmasmad and Judy like this.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    On Long Island, Sessions Vows to Eradicate MS-13 Gang

    APRIL 28, 2017

    Representative Peter T. King, left, Republican of New York, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the United States Courthouse in Central Islip on Friday. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — The attorney general of the United States, Jeff Sessions, on Friday came to this Long Island area besieged by the transnational gang known as MS-13, and in a 20-minute speech to local police commissioners and sheriffs vowed to eradicate the gang by cracking down on illegal immigration.

    Mr. Sessions said the gang, which is linked to El Salvador, carries a threat similar to the Colombian cartels and the mafia. He said it smuggled gang members across the United States border and recruited young immigrants.

    His message was familiar, and it bore the wishes of President Trump, who Mr. Sessions said was “particularly alert to” the violence affecting Suffolk County, where the bodies of four young men who had been brutally killed were found near a park on April 13.

    The authorities contend the killings had the markings of MS-13, which would bring the gang’s body count to 15 in Suffolk County since the beginning of 2016, the most violent stretch since MS-13 took hold on Long Island in the late 1990s.

    “The MS-13 motto is kill, rape and control,” Mr. Sessions said at the United States Courthouse here. “Our motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals. That’s how simple it is. Prosecute them, and after they’ve been convicted, if they’re not here lawfully, they’re going to be deported.”

    Mr. Sessions talked tough, declaring that “this is the Trump era,” when the federal government would back law enforcement. He said that he would add prosecutors to the Eastern District of New York. On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York had came to the area to announce that he would add 25 state police officers to the gang-fighting efforts.

    Mr. Sessions did not, however, offer assurances to the sizable immigrant community that its members could report crime to the police without worrying about their immigration status.

    That has been a concern for local law enforcement officials, who fear that the Trump administration’s promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants will destroy trust in the community and hamper investigations. In presentations throughout the county, the Suffolk County police commissioner, Timothy Sini, said if victims or witnesses of crimes came forward, the police would not ask about their immigration status.

    A memorial in Central Islip for victims of the MS-13 gang. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

    Mr. Sessions called the notion of strict immigration enforcement eroding trust an “exaggerated argument” and said that people could still call 911 anonymously to report crime.

    He said that prosecuting immigrants who had entered the country illegally and committed crimes was still the federal government’s priority, and that the government was not “out seeking witnesses to crimes to deport.” But, he added, “It cannot be that the attorney general grants immunity contrary to law for people who violate the laws of the United States.”

    Mr. Sessions then met with law enforcement officials from Suffolk County, Nassau County and the State Police to discuss ways to best fight a gang whose hallmark weapon is the machete.

    Before Mr. Sessions arrived, about 200 protesters gathered in the early morning outside the courthouse, across the lawn from the armored cars and Homeland Security guards.

    “I’m concerned that his response is anti-immigrant, which would lead to racial profiling Latinos, African-Americans,” said the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, the president of the State University of New York at Old Westbury.

    But Representative Peter T. King, a Republican from the second district of New York, which includes Central Islip and neighboring Brentwood, was visibly angered by the protesters. He had invited Mr. Sessions to Long Island to meet with law enforcement officials to help solve the problem, and attended a news conference after Mr. Sessions’s speech.

    “They should be on their knees thanking him, not out there protesting,” Mr. King said at the news conference. “It’s shameful, it’s disgraceful that leaders in the community would criticize the attorney general.”

    Mr. Sessions said the first step to combating criminal groups like MS-13 was to secure the border and restore “a lawful system of immigration.” He noted that the administration was adding immigration judges at the border to expedite deportations, and criticized the “lawless practice” of sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with immigration authorities. (Though, in a reversal, he said that he was “a big admirer” of the New York Police Department for leading the way in community-based procedures, and proving that “broken-windows strategies work,” referring to aggressively policing minor violations to prevent more serious crimes.)

    “We cannot continue with this transporting across our border illegal immigrants who have not been properly vetted and actually are part of criminal organizations,” Mr. Sessions said.

    About 200 protesters gathered in the early morning before Mr. Sessions arrived. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

    He did not elaborate on how MS-13 smuggles gang members into places like Long Island, but last week, Mr. Sini did.

    “There is no question that MS-13 members who have immigrated illegally here have recruited individuals coming over,” he said. Mr. Sini added that intelligence showed that MS-13 was threatening local families to become legal guardians for gang members.

    The numbers, he said, are indicative of this trend: seven of the 13 MS-13 gang members indicted in a sweep by the United States attorney’s office in March had entered the country as unaccompanied minors. Ten of those indicted were undocumented immigrants.

    About 4,000 unaccompanied minors have settled in the county in the last several years after fleeing the violence-racked countries of Central America, and gang members have preyed on them. About 400 children who entered the country unaccompanied and relocated to Brentwood are now enrolled in the school district, Levi McIntyre, the superintendent, said last week.

    “The best way to tackle the problem is to convince young people to stay away from the gangs,” Mr. Sessions said. During a news conference, he would not commit financial resources to Suffolk County for intervention or prevention programs.

    Later, when he met with the families of two teenage girls from Brentwood who were killed in September, he did make that promise, said Evelyn Rodriguez, the mother of one of the girls, Kayla Cuevas, 16.

    “He told me, ‘rest assured that this is going to be spoken about, talked about, and there will be more resources and programs to our community and schools,’” Ms. Rodriguez said. “I’m happy that he did come out and hear our concerns.”

    La Mara Salvatrucha, shortened to MS-13, originated as a street gang in Los Angeles in the 1980s, with members who were refugees from El Salvador. It developed into a transnational organization. Mr. Sessions said he was told that the gang has headquarters in the jails of El Salvador and has 30,000 members, 10,000 of whom are in the United States.

    On paper, Suffolk police seemed to make progress after the killings of Ms. Cuevas and the other girl, Nisa Mickens, 15, arresting 170 gang members. Then came the deaths of the four young men. Two of them were immigrants from Honduras who had escaped gangs there.

    “I have a message for the gangs that target our young people: We are targeting you,” Mr. Sessions said. “We are coming after you.”
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