The violent MS-13—or Mara Salvatrucha—street gang is following the migratory routes of illegal aliens across the country, FBI officials say, calling the Salvadoran gang the new American mafia.
MS-13, which has a significant presence in the Washington area, and other gangs are spreading into small towns and suburbs by following illegal aliens seeking work in places such as Providence, R.I., and the Carolinas, FBI task force director Robert Clifford said.
“The migrant moves and the gang follows,” said Mr. Clifford, director of the agency’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force. “If you follow the construction trade, this is where a lot of these immigrants go.”
Immigrants in search of construction and meat-packing jobs often provide housing for younger relatives who may be involved in a gang, Mr. Clifford said.
In 2002, The Washington Times obtained a Metropolitan Police Department internal memo that stated that 20 MS-13 members from Los Angeles traveled to Northern Virginia because they were “upset with the local MS-13 gang because a Fairfax County police officer has not been killed.”