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Trump triumph: Focusing on brutal gangs, not non-violent immigrants

In this image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ingmar Guandique, a documented MS-13 gang member, is escorted by ICE agents Friday, May 5, 2017, in Alexandria, La. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

During the busy months of his turbulent presidency, Donald Trump deserves bi-partisan praise for some undeniable triumphs, including dramatic progress against violent gangs that threaten American families.

In mid-May, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced results of an unprecedented anti-gang crackdown, with arrests totaling nearly 1,400.

But-despite some of the administration’s own rhetoric-this achievement bore scant connection to the problem of illegal immigration: more than two-thirds of those arrested were US citizens; just one of five were undocumented immigrants eligible for deportation. These numbers help to explain the fact that all lists of the nation’s safest cities disproportionately feature communities in California and Texas with major populations of legal and undocumented immigrants.

No clear-thinking American can defend our broken immigration system, or sanction violation of our borders, but the Trump administration is absolutely right to focus on brutal gang-members–most of whom are native born–ahead of those who violate immigration rules but avoid criminal violence.

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