Protesters gear up for Trump's LI visit
Protesters are gearing up for President Donald Trump's visit to Long Island on Friday.
Some immigrant groups on Thursday called on the president to call off his trip to Brentwood, where he's expected to discuss the MS-13 gang violence that has plagued the community. Anti-gang activist Sergio Argueta, of S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc., says he thinks the visit will only make matters worse.
"Think of all the coverage that all these local papers and media is giving to this one gang -- MS-13," Argueta says. "All gangs thrive on notoriety, on being the baddest gang out there. Now you have the commander-in-chief of the United States giving this gang free promotion."
Others are protesting Trump's policies on health care, LGBT issues and immigration.
"Every Hispanic -- they are not a criminal, they are not a gang member," says Jocelo Lucero. "If you want to create a safe place -- a safe community -- we have to work together."
Some, like the parents of Nisa Mickens, are praising Trump for taking the community-crippling gang problem to heart. It's been 10 months since they buried the 16-year-old.
"I'm trying to keep it together," says Liz Alvarado, the victim's mother.
As News 12 has reported, Mickens and her friend Kayla Cuevas, who would have turned 18 on Thursday, were viciously beaten and slashed with machetes allegedly at the hands of MS-13 gang members.
Mickens’ parents say they're glad Trump will be in their town to discuss the terror the gang has brought to the area and what what more can be done about it.
U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) told News 12 by phone that he's spoken with Trump several times about the gang and its brutality.
"He wants to crush it," King says. "He says he will do everything that has to be done."
Trump is scheduled to speak at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. Several protests are expected to take place right outside.