U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Long Island Friday to discuss the Justice Department’s response to recent murders by the violent MS-13 gang.
Sessions says a top priority of the DOJ is to dismantle transnational criminal organizations like MS-13. He also defended President Trump’s immigration policy and plans for border security.
“If you’re a gang member know this. We will find you. We will devastate your networks. We will starve your revenue sources, deplete your ranks and seize your profits. We will not concede our territory to illegal gangs.”
Sessions says he plans to use federal officers with no jurisdictional limits to combat the gang that he says took advantage of weak border enforcement.
He made his remarks at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, not far from where the gang killed 11 people over the past year.
About 100 people turned out to protest Sessions' visit.
Reverend Calvin Butts, president of SUNY Old Westbury, organized the protest. He grabbed a bullhorn to tell protesters that Sessions only came to Long Island to push a political agenda.
“We are afraid that a man like Mr. Sessions, who does not respect anyone, cannot speak to the issues of violence and discrimination here on Long Island.”
Pat Mamatos of Bay Shore wore butterfly wings that symbolize peaceful immigrant assimilation. She says Sessions' visit is just an act.
“I think that this is just a huge effort of opportunism on his part. I really don’t think he gives a rip about these people or this neighborhood.”
They also protested against the gang violence that’s menaced Suffolk County.