Northern Virginia Gang Task Force officers partner with ICE officer to arrest an alleged MS-13 gang member in a Manassas, Virginia neighborhood Thursday evening August 10, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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How MS-13 Gang Became a ‘Powerhouse’ at Long Island School

The Washington Post shines spotlight on epidemic of gang violence that has caught President Trump's eye.

Students at Brentwood High School on Long Island has become a lesson in current events, the epicenter of the controversy over the handling of the vicious gang known as MS-13. Six students from the school have been murdered by gang members in less than two years, graduating the epidemic of violence from a local problem to one referenced by President Trump during his State of the Union address.

Now, The Washington Post is shining a spotlight on just how deep the crisis goes in that Suffolk County community, where 5,000 unaccompanied illegal minors caught entering illegally over the Mexican border have been sent since 2013. (There are 27 murders in the area attributed to the gang.) Some of those teens brought ties to MS-13, a gang that has particularly plagued El Salvador. While the president has called for a draconian immigration policy as a solution, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit alleging the school went too far in a crackdown, targeting many kids that may not be connected.

“We can see a gang member coming a mile away,” Carlos Sanchez, safety director for the Brentwood Free Union School District, told The Post. “The problem is that it’s not against the law to be a gang member, even if they identify themselves as MS.”

But the problem is certainly not isolated in Long Island, with Texas and Virginia facing similar crime sprees from the influx of MS-13 gang-members put in their communities by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

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