Whenever President Trump showcases family members of American citizens murdered by illegal immigrants, he’s accused of dog-whistling and racism. And when he raises the specter of vicious violence perpetrated by the MS-13 gang, many on the Left claim that he’s exaggerating a threat in order to spread fear-based stereotypes about Latinos. For instance, after the president shared a story of two high school girls murdered by MS-13 at the State of the Union Address, MSNBC host Joy Reid made this assertion:
“He gives a speech tonight, in which he makes it sound like the biggest issue in the United States, the biggest threat is MS-13, a gang nobody that doesn’t watch Fox News has ever heard of. So he makes it sound like they’re the biggest threat.”
WaPo: MS-13 is ‘taking over the school,’ one teen warned before she was killed https://t.co/Ayh6X9Wn7E
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 10, 2018
That anecdote from the piece referenced by Tapper involves the horrific killings of the young women Trump invoked in his national speech:
Kayla, a basketball player from a Puerto Rican family, had first clashed with MS-13 two years earlier at Brentwood’s Freshman Center, where gang members spat on her, stole or broke her things and taunted her, according to her mother’s lawsuit. Things escalated in summer school, when an MS-13 member threatened her with a knife, then continued to attend Brentwood High, the lawsuit says. “She used to tell me, ‘Ma, they are taking over the school. It’s like they’re everywhere,’ ” said Evelyn Rodriguez, who has become the face of MS-13 victims…After a confrontation at Brentwood, federal prosecutors say, MS-13 put a “greenlight” — or kill order — on Kayla, and members made a “throat slicing gesture” toward her at school, the lawsuit says. A week later, she was walking home one evening with Nisa, a basketball teammate one day shy of her 16th birthday, when MS-13 members spotted them and attacked with a machete and baseball bats, according to prosecutors. The girls were beaten to death. “They failed my daughter,” Rodriguez said of school officials.
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