If the U.S. maintains its goal of increasing deportations, gang violence in Central America is set to boom, according to an analysis from a think tank Thursday.
The report from Crisis Group addressed the history of gangs in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, which the think tank said are “the product of mass deportation, social stresses, family breakdown and institutional weaknesses in countries that fail to distribute adequately the wealth they produce among their citizens.”
Due to this situation, the Soros-funded think tank said that increased deportations will likely increase violence in an already crime-ridden region.
In recommendations to the U.S. government, the group wrote that the Trump administration should “refrain from instigating mass deportations or harsher anti-migration measures” against immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
This is unless the U.S. pays “proper attention to returnees’ employment and vocational needs,” and investments in the communities in those countries. Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are all in the top four countries of origin for illegal immigrants in the U.S.
Crisis Group wrote in the report that Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, gained strength once thousands of criminal Salvadorans were deported back to their country in the 1990s. A recent affidavit from an FBI agent revealed that are over 6,000 members of MS-13 in the United States, and over 30,000 in Central American nations.
Members of MS-13 allegedly mutilated the body of a teenager in a recent murder in rural Virginia.