Murders by gang members on the rise as lawmakers like Kamala Harris denounce federal authorities

March 15, 2019

Murders by gang members on the rise as lawmakers like Kamala Harris denounce federal authorities Image Source: YouTube

Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla was murdered in cold blood in January 2017 while visiting a local deli. What did he do to deserve five shots to his head at point blank range? He wore a No. 18 Peyton Manning jersey — a symbol that left him “marked for death” by his killers, members of the MS-13 street gang who mistook their victim for a member of a rival gang.

Alvarado-Bonilla’s January 2017 death, which was brought back to light after a March 12 report from the New York Post, is all too similar to the many other brutal and callous slayings perpetrated across the country by the Central America-based gang in an epidemic that only promises to escalate if lawmakers like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) have their way.

Abolish ICE, Abolish peace

While grilling Ronald Vitiello — President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency — during his November confirmation hearing, Harris suggested that ICE was the same as the Ku Klux Klan.

“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels?” she asked.

Vitiello rejected the notion that federal law enforcement used the same intimidation tactics as a white supremacist hate group.

“I do not see any parallels,” he told the senator. “That puts ICE in the same category as the KKK. Is that what you’re asking me?”

Ms. Harris refused to drop her offensive line of questioning, and after emphasizing that she was talking about the “perception” that illegal immigrants retain for ICE, she doubled down: “Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?”

Crime spree

In some communities, ICE officials are the first line of defense against neighborhoods which have become overrun by violent street gangs, many of which were imported from Mexico and Central America. That was the dire situation in Long Island, where Alvarado-Bonilla was murdered along with 13 others by MS-13 thugs in 2017.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Raymond Tierney discussed the details behind Alvarado-Bonilla’s murder on Tuesday during a court proceeding involving defendant Jose Suarez, the alleged getaway driver in the case. MS-13 member Mario Aguilar-Lopez has already pleaded guilty to the murder in a second case.

“The only way he could rise up the ranks…was to commit outrageous acts of violence, including murder,” Tierney said. “It’s about the role this defendant played in helping to hurt people…helping to kill people.”

Suarez and Aguilar-Lopez were members of the MS-13 Sailors Clique, a fact that was confirmed in court by a gangster-turned-informant. They killed the victim because he wore a No. 18 jersey, which just so happened to be streetwear commonly worn by members of the rival 18th Street gang.

“He was to wait,” Tierney explained. “He was to let the leader know the hit was on” while the shooter walked into the El Campesino Deli in Central Islip and carried out the grisly murder.

Crackdown

During a visit to Long Island last summer, President Donald Trump promised to “liberate our town” from MS-13 strongholds which have spring up in urban centers. State and federal officials have combined task forces to identify and arrest gang members who previously operated criminal enterprises without any fear of legal consequences, and police recorded just four MS-13 murders in the year following Alvarado-Bonilla’s death.

While MS-13’s motto is “mata, viola, controla” — which means “kill, rape, control” — Trump has a new motto for illegal immigrant criminals who think they can evade American justice, and he shared it with Long Island police during his 2018 visit:

“We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, and we will deport you.”

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Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Jewish News Syndicate.