As part of his administration's effort to crack down on illegal immigration, President Donald Trump is asking Congress for an additional 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as well as more immigration judges to rule on deportation cases.
The Hill reported that Trump is set to give a law enforcement and immigration policy speech on Friday in Long Island, N.Y., that will focus on defeating the violent El Salvadoran MS-13 gang, notorious for drug and human trafficking.
According to an unnamed top U.S. official, The Hill said, Trump's speech will focus on affirming the administration's support for law enforcement agencies both big and small. The speech will also tackle illegal immigration, which the Trump administration believes is the primary source of MS-13 recruitment.
"Migration is the principal factor that is responsible for MS-13," the official said, adding that Trump wanted to "demonstrate humanitarian consequences of failing to enforce immigration laws."
According to The Hill, Trump will back up his rhetoric by requesting 10,000 more ICE agents and a "substantial amount" of immigration judges from Congress. On the legislative side, Trump will request the passage of "Kate's Law," which will increase penalties to illegal immigrants who return to the U.S. after having been deported previously.
The official told The Hill that Trump will also ask for a bill against sanctuary cities, as well as further funding for his promised border wall.
The official noted that ICE has already undergone big changes since Trump's takeover from the Obama administration, pointing to the fact that suspected gang members have already been quickly removed from the country, whether they have a past criminal record or not.
"If you are a gang member, you are a priority for removal. Full stop," the official said, adding that the policies are "politically incorrect, but law enforcement-wise, very correct."
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said in an interview on C-SPAN earlier this month that under Trump, the drop in illegal immigration has been "miraculous." Judd told C-SPAN’s Washington Journal host Pedro Echevarria that border enforcement agents have noted a 53 percent drop in illegal immigrants attempting to make it across the border from last year.
The Trump administration set its sights on MS-13 in April when Trump blamed former President Barack Obama for fostering its growth with his immigration policies.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to El Salvador to learn how to better combat MS-13 from the El Salvador government, as well as former MS-13 members. Reportedly, Sessions and Trump learned that the gang heavily relies on illegal immigrants to fill their ranks.