The killings were horrific. The bludgeoning of four young men in a Central Islip park in April and the similarly brutal slaughter of two teenage girls last year in Brentwood drew national attention to Long Island and its fight to stop the vicious MS-13 street gang.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to address the incidents tomorrow in Brentwood not far from neighborhoods wracked by MS-13 violence. His attention to this plague is welcome. The MS-13 problem is tied inextricably to the larger problem of illegal immigration. Gang members typically come from Central America, mostly El Salvador. The recent flood of unaccompanied minors into Suffolk County, in particular, has meant more potential gang recruits — and victims.
But repairing the nation’s broken immigration system, including deciding what to do with those here without legal status, is a complex problem. This would be a welcome opportunity for Trump to move beyond the harsh campaign sound bites and offer a nuanced view of how the nation is to move forward.
Trump should take a good look around Long Island. MS-13 is not the full story of illegal immigration here. It is a dark and ugly chapter but there is much more to this tale. Immigrants, including those here illegally, have added vitality to many communities. They’re good neighbors, business owners,…
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