Fear Over MS-13 Gang Is Overstated


At a recent campus symposium, Lidia Nuño, assistant professor of criminal justice, and her former research colleagues from Arizona State University put into perspective the rhetoric that has been swirling around the MS-13 gang’s presence in the United States, particularly in Los Angeles. According to Nuño, the prevalence of MS-13 in Los Angeles County is low. The scholars contend that President Donald Trump and the news media are overstating the threat of MS-13 in the United States.

Nuño told symposium attendees that for her research, she didn’t have access to a lot of MS-13 members in L.A. County jails because there just aren’t that many. She interviewed 37 individuals identified by deputies as affiliated with MS-13 to find out who they are, how the gang works here and how it’s different from the MS-13 in El Salvador, which Nuño and her ASU colleagues studied in the past decade. The team’s work has been funded by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Justice Institute, part of the U.S. Department of Justice. Continue reading in the Orange County Register.

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