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Congress to combat brutal gang violence, Speaker of the House says

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan said today that Congress plans to battle what he calls “brutal gang violence” directed out of Central America.

In a statement today, Wisconsin Senator Paul Ryan says:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

In April, three students and a visiting cousin were macheted to death in the woods of suburban Long Island. What were they guilty of? What caused someone to murder them in such an inhumane way?

These kids all actively avoided gangs. That was their crime to MS-13, a violent gang, which originated in California but has spread dramatically to states across the country, from Texas to Virginia to New York.

MS-13 murders and commits violent crimes against people they believe have disrespected them, people they suspect of cooperating with the police, or those who simply rub them the wrong way. They trap children into prostitution. Many of their leaders are based in Central America and are remotely directing gangs in the United States. At least 17 murders on Long Island alone have been attributed to MS-13.

Our children aren’t safe and this needs to change.

Following the April murders, Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Long Island and vowed to crack down on MS-13. President Trump visited in June and said the government would dismantle, decimate, and eradicate MS-13 and other gangs. Law enforcement has done a fantastic job going after these gangs and locking members up. But they need more tools.

This week, Congress is joining the president in the fight to protect our young people with the introduction of H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act. Under current law, membership in a criminal street gang does not make an immigrant inadmissible or deportable.

Introduced by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), this bill changes that and makes membership in a criminal street gang a deportable offense. This includes felony drug offenses, crimes of violence, and various offenses involving trafficking, identify theft, slavery, and intimidation. Read more about the legislation here.

We will not cower in the face of this brutal violence. We will work with the Trump administration to fight back and protect American youth. It’s time to stand up for our children and end violence in our neighborhoods, once and for all.

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