Earlier today, Leah covered President Donald J. Trump’s graduation speech to new law enforcement officers at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He lambasted a “dysfunctional immigration system” that allows in "the worst of worst." Yet, President Trump’s comments on MS-13 gang members drew the most applause.
Referring to the “lottery system” President Trump said:
“You think the country is giving us their best people? No,” he added, referencing the lottery program. “What kind of a system is that? They come in by lottery. They give us their worst people, they put them in a bin, but in his hand when he’s picking him are really the worst of the worst.
"Congratulations, you’re going the United States, ok? What a system."
Turning to gang violence, he had a specific message for MS-13 gang members. MS-13 is a violent El Salvadoran gang and drug cartel with a heavy presence in the United States.
“To any member of MS-13 listening, I have a message for you,” the President told the officers and their families. “We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, we will throw you the hell out of the country," Trump said.
"Somehow I like it better than jail," he said to applause. "Jail, we have to take care of 'em. Who the hell wants to take care of 'em? You know the jail stuff is wonderful, but we have to pay for it, right," he continued.
"We don't want 'em," adding, "We don't want 'em. They're getting out of here. Our cities should not be sanctuaries for criminals. They should be sanctuaries for Americans."
In May of 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 1,378 people during a nationwide crime sweep known as "Operation New Dawn." This operation was the largest of its kind.
In Washington, D.C., authorities arrested 52 individuals that were gang members. However, 29 of those individuals were a part of MS-13.