President Trump blasted El Salvador and Mexico in a morning tweet by claiming that they allow deported MS-13 gang members to “come back in [to the United States]…like water.” He also stated those gang members are being removed “by the thousands” — an assertion, per The Washington Post, that isn’t backed up by hard numbers.
MS-13 gang members are being removed by our Great ICE and Border Patrol Agents by the thousands, but these killers come back in from El Salvador, and through Mexico, like water. El Salvador just takes our money, and Mexico must help MORE with this problem. We need The Wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2018
This is a new twist on Trump’s well-worn claim that his administration is deporting thousands of members of the violent MS-13 gang. We gave the president Two Pinocchios in June because MS-13 removals were in the hundreds, not the thousands, under his watch.
Whereas Trump referred only to deportees in his previous remarks, his claim has now expanded to include MS-13 members “in our prisons.” That tweak caught our attention, since it’s a big one. Has the Trump administration taken “thousands and thousands” of MS-13 members off the streets, whether by deporting or imprisoning them?