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>> Tonight I am calling on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13 and other criminal gangs to break into our country.>> In his State of the Union Tuesday night, President Trump singled out the deadly Latin American gang, MS-13, as he hammered home his hard line on immigration, even introducing the parents of two of the gang's alleged victims.
>> Six members of the savage MS-13 gang have been charged with Kayla and Nisa's murders. Everyone in America is grieving for you.>> The FBI and local police from LA to Washington all agree MS-13 poses a real threat, but as Congress looks for a way forward on immigration, Trump's use of MS-13 to frame the debate is provoking a backlash.
Immigration reporter, Yeganeh Torbati.>> So MS-13 is a legitimate public safety concern, and people on both sides of the aisle would argue that the Trump administration is right to try to eradicate it. However, what Democrats and immigration advocates also suspect is that the administration is using the problem of MS-13 as sort of a boogie man to represent the problem with all illegal migration in their view, as something that brings crime and instability into the United Sates.
>> It was dangerous, what he said last night.>> The exact number of MS-13 members in the United States is not known, but the FBI puts it at a few thousand out of an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. And yet the Trump administration has made MS-13 a centerpiece of their case for tougher immigration rules.
>> You can see a pattern on the Trump administration's part of using what a lot of critics would say is not rigorous analytical methods in order to make a larger policy point about immigration.>> Trump mentioned MS-13 four times on Tuesday as he urged lawmakers to fund his signature border wall with Mexico and to cut back on US visas.
In exchange, Trump says he's offering a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to the US illegally as children, known as Dreamers.>> The way Democrats view President Trump's speech is that he effectively conflated all illegal immigrants with members of MS-13, and he also conflated Dreamers with the broader illegal immigrant population.
And they don't see any outreach from President Trump in trying to move closer to their position on Dreamers and on immigration in general.>> Trump and Democrats are facing a February 8th deadline to strike an immigration deal or risk the second federal shutdown in less than a month.