President Donald Trump will come to the doorstep of Suffolk communities hard-hit by gang violence Friday to address the administration’s fight against the MS-13 gang.
In his first visit to Long Island since taking office, Trump is scheduled to address hundreds of Long Island law enforcement personnel at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus.
Immigrant advocate groups, however, plan to protest what they call his administration’s harsh deportation policies that go beyond targeting criminals.
Trump has touted his administration’s effort to crack down on MS-13 in recent days as he deals with an uncertain effort to repeal Obamacare in Congress and a shake-up of his communications staff.
“We are throwing MS-13 the hell out of here so fast,” Trump said at a Tuesday night rally in Youngstown, Ohio.
Federal law enforcement officials announced the indictments last week of 14 suspected MS-13 gang members on Long Island, including nine accused of bludgeoning and hacking four young men to death in a Central Islip park in April.
A senior White House official said Thursday night that the “barbarism” of MS-13 is “very personal” for Trump.
“The president is going to the epicenter of the MS-13 threat in Long Island, one of the focal points of this threat, to deliver this message,” the official said. The administration is “trying to literally liberate cities and towns from this violence,” the official said.
Among Trump’s requests to Congress: 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers; a substantial increase in immigration judges; expedited removal of Central Americans; and legislation to punish sanctuary cities, the White House official said.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said they plan to fly from Washington, D.C., with Trump.
“The Trump administration will do everything possible to eliminate MS-13 and protect the good people living in communities such as Brentwood and Central Islip, who have been terrorized by MS-13 for too long,” King said in a statement.
Immigrant rights groups said they planned to hold protests at Brentwood State Park at noon Friday.