A February affidavit from a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent about the transnational gang MS-13 reveals a member was instructed to say he is “fleeing the violence in El Salvador” when dealing with police.
The FBI special agent details how Joel Martinez, aka “Animal,” was promoted to “homeboy” status in a Boston MS13 gang after stabbing 15-year-old Irvin De Paz to death in September 2015. According to the affidavit, rival 18th street gang members sought to kill Martinez and he had to flee. One MS-13 member, “told Martinez that when dealing with the police he should be humble and say that he is fleeing from the violence in El Salvador,” FBI special agent Jeffrey Wood wrote.
The Obama administration has expanded refugee opportunities for individuals and families in Central American countries, citing the violence currently in the region. In January 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “I am pleased to announce that we have plans to expand the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in order to help vulnerable families and individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.”