President Donald Trump is expected to visit Long Island on Wednesday to discuss the street gang MS-13 — the president’s second visit to LI in less than a year for the same reason.
U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said Trump invited the congressman to attend a forum on the ultraviolent transnational gang. It will be held at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, a White House official confirmed.
“The Congressman has had multiple conversations with the White House about the problems of MS-13 on Long Island,” said King’s spokesman, Kevin Fogarty. “The White House is the one who initiated the forum for next week.”
The White House did not immediately have further details on the planned visit. Trump visited the Island in July to discuss a crackdown on the gang, which authorities have blamed for dozens of murders in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The case that prompted Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to visit Suffolk last year was a quadruple murder in Central Islip. Members of the MS-13 have been arrested in that case.
The president also referenced Long Island’s gang problem during his first State of the Union speech in January. He congratulated Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez for leading an operation to track down the gang’s members on LI and called attention to four of his guests, the parents of Brentwood teenagers Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, who were both killed by the gang in 2016.
Trump has said MS-13 is an example of why Congress should approve more funding for federal immigration agents and pass his four-part immigration plan. The proposal would end the visa lottery, complete the wall along the US-Mexico border, end chain migration and create a path to citizenship for 1.8 undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them to America as minors.
During his last visit, Trump likened the gang members to animals who “transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into blood-stained killing fields.”