Whether he’s calling the members “animals,” or touting ICE’s efforts to “liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13,” President Donald Trump has made a lot of assertions about the street gang. One fact is undeniable: The gang commits horrifying acts of violence. But beyond that, how much do we really know about it? In our latest Vox + ProPublica video collaboration, two reporters help set the record straight.
ProPublica reporter Hannah Dreier is spending the year reporting on MS-13 on Long Island, and Vox senior reporter Dara Lind has covered the story behind the rhetoric. Watch the video above to find out the most common misunderstandings about the gang, and how MS-13 actually originated in the U.S.. As local and federal officials debate what to do, it’s worth keeping the facts front and center.