Violent South American gang in US represents moral misconception

Human trafficking, extortion, murder – these are some of the crimes associated with Tren de Aragua, a transnational criminal organization that torments the likes of Venezuela, Colombia, and Chile.

You can add the United States to that list. 

CNN reported on Sunday morning that federal officials say this violent criminal organization has entered the United States. That illegal immigrant who shot two police officers in New York City about a week ago has tattoos associated with the gang.

Tren de Aragua is “the most disruptive criminal organization operating nowadays in Latin America,” according to Oscar Naranjo, a former chief of the Colombian National Police. 

The U.S. State Department 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report for Colombia says that Tren de Aragua and a rival criminal gang “operate sex trafficking networks in the border town of Villa del Rosario in the Norte de Santander department. These groups exploit Venezuelan migrants and internally displaced Colombians in sex trafficking and take advantage of economic vulnerabilities and subject them to debt bondage.”

The New York City shooting, allegations of human trafficking “stash houses” in various states, and the kidnapping and killing of a former Venezuelan police officer make it clear that this lawless gang has already started doing damage to American communities. 

Don’t take it from me. Multiple Venezuelan immigrants told CNN that they are already seeing in their new American neighborhoods similar criminal behavior to that which led them to flee their home country.

These criminals and their disturbing nature beg a rhetorical question: How did they get here?

President Joe Biden and so many on the Left have been giving in to this ideologically driven narrative that the United States has a moral responsibility to open its borders to foreigners. There are many asylum-seekers, like the ones who spoke to CNN, who are truly escaping poverty, crime, and persecution in their countries of origin.

But when the most violent criminal organization in Colombia is actively wreaking havoc on American cities, it’s difficult to listen to the whole “if you disagree with me, you’re racist” argument. 

That stark characterization comes from U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens, who has confirmed the arrests of many alleged Tren de Aragua members at the southern border. 

Between fiscal 2023 and last May, the Customs and Border Protection in Texas identified 58 individuals as Tren de Aragua gang members. And those are only the ones that we know about.


Back in March, multiple Republican members of Congress urged the Biden administration “to formally designate the vicious Tren de Aragua as a Transnational Criminal Organization.”

That endeavor will, of course, lead to nothing tangible, but it’s a step in the right direction toward protecting the public.

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles