Top Salvadoran officials are worried about deportations of their compatriots from the U.S., as they think the returnees will cause crime.
El Comercio wrote Thursday that El Salvador’s Minister of Defense David Munguia Payes told reporters, “We know that if there are massive deportations from the U.S., it will increase violence in the country.”
The worry from Salvadoran officials is due to the Trump administration’s focus on MS 13, a Salvadoran gang whose leadership still remains in the Central American nation. MS 13 gained strength in the 1990s after thousands of gang members were deported from the U.S.
The defense minister said that the deported illegal immigrants will cause tension between gangs. The Salvadoran government is weighing an initiative that would make deportees with criminal records check in monthly with police, according to El Comercio.
The nation’s vice president, Oscar Ortiz, said these monthly reports would be to make sure the deported illegal immigrants aren’t involved in any illegal activities. Meanwhile, the defense minister did not rule out arresting these criminals upon arrival in El Salvador.
A recent report from a think tank said that to prevent violence in Central America the Trump administration should “refrain from instigating mass deportations or harsher anti-migration measures.”