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Why the street gang MS-13 is an American problem

In our latest Vox + ProPublica collaboration, we separate MS-13 fact from fiction.

Ranjani Chakraborty is a lead video producer on the Vox video team and the creator behind Vox’s history series, Missing Chapter.

Whether he’s calling its members “animals” or touting Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s efforts to “liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13,” President 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 learn about the most common misunderstandings around the gang and how MS-13 actually originated in the US. As local and federal officials debate what to do, it’s worth keeping the facts front and center.

This story makes up the tenth installment in Vox’s collaboration with ProPublica. You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. And sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to get their best reporting in your inbox as soon as it’s published.

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