A grieving Long Island mom fought back tears as she called on authorities Tuesday to stem the tide of MS-13 gang members flooding into the US from Latin America — and committing crimes like the savage slaying of her teenage daughter last year.
“I want these criminals coming into our country to be stopped,” Evelyn Rodriguez testified at a congressional subcommittee hearing in Central Islip.
Rodriguez also lashed out at education officials for failing to safeguard her daughter, Kayla Cuevas, 16, who was “bullied every day in school [by gang members] for two years” before she and her best friend, Nisa Mickens, 15, were fatally beaten with baseball bats and hacked with a machete on Sept. 13 in Brentwood.
“When our kids are being threatened, they do not contact the police. They are not. I can testify to that,” Rodriguez said.
“They like to keep it under cover. They like to say they are taking care of it, but they cannot.”
Central Islip schools Superintendent Howard Koenig admitted the “terrible impact” that “the very violent activities of MS-13” was making on students, and bemoaned President Trump’s proposed budget, which he said would slash after-school activities and other programs aimed at keeping immigrant kids from being recruited into the gang.
But when confronted about Rodriguez’s accusation by US Rep. Peter King (R-LI), Koenig claimed his district had “a great relationship” with local Suffolk County cops.
“We address every instance, and when it rises above what we can handle, we absolutely contact the police,” he said.
The killings of Kayla and Nisa are among 17 Suffolk murders blamed on MS- 13 since the beginning of 2016, and law enforcement officials testified about the difficulty in cracking down on MS-13 because its members favor brutal, low-tech weapons over the guns wielded by traditional gang members.
“MS-13 operates without firearms, but the level of violence…