NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Long Island could be in the crosshairs of the White House’s latest efforts to crack down on suspected teenage gang members who entered the country illegally.
According to a memo obtained by Reuters, the enforcement effort targets 16 and 17-year-olds.
In it, it says a person can be identified as a gang member if the person meets two or more criteria, including having gang tattoos, frequenting an area known for gang activity, and wearing gang apparel.
As WCBS 880’s Myles Miller reported, President Trump has vowed to deport illegal immigrants who pose a threat to public safety — specifically members of the MS-13 gang, which has been linked to 38 percent of all homicides in Suffolk County.
Homeland Security Special Agent-In-Charge Angel Melendez says the violent gang members can’t be stopped at the border.
“They come in and self admit and say, ‘hey, I’m an MS-13 member from El Salvador,’ and we cannot turn them around,” Melendez said.
Law enforcement officials have argued the Immigration Naturalization Act should allow gang affiliation to be grounds for deportation.
WCBS 880 reports the raids will begin Sunday and end Wednesday.