Republican senators and representatives ask Biden to designate Tren de Aragua as a transnational criminal organization

The members of Congress fear that what is happening in countries such as Chile and Peru, where the Venezuelan gang has already established itself, could soon happen in the United States.

Several Republican senators and representatives sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to designate the Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua as a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO).

"This designation is crucial to effectively mobilize national awareness as a result of this threat, as well as deploy necessary resources and sanctions that will help to curb the escalating crime and violence threatening communities across the United States," reads the initiative, led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Florida).

"Tren de Aragua is an invading criminal army from a prison in Venezuela that has spread their brutality and chaos to U.S. cities and small towns," the letter states.

The congressmen warn that if the matter is not addressed as soon as possible, the United States will experience an unprecedented "reign of terror" throughout the country. The letter cites cases in South America where Tren de Aragua has already taken hold in countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru.

"We cannot afford to underestimate the devastating damage posed by Tren de Aragua. Failure to designate Tren de Aragua as a TCO will only embolden its expansion," wrote the members of Congress.

In addition to Rubio and Salazar, the letter was signed by Senators Bill Cassidy, Rick Scott, Tim Scott, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn and Shelley Moore Capito. More than ten representatives supported the initiative, including Carlos Gimenez, Mario Diaz-Balart and Dan Crenshaw.

The congressmen recalled the recent crime against nursing student Laken Rilley, who was allegedly murdered on February 22 by a Venezuelan, apparently a gang member, at the University of Georgia. The crime shocked the country and further strained the debate on the dangers of uncontrolled illegal immigration.

Both the murder suspect, Venezuelan José Antonio Ibarra, and his brother had entered the United States illegally in 2022 through the southern border. Both, who, according to authorities, could be part of Tren de Aragua, had been arrested in October of last year on charges of robbery and other crimes. They were released shortly after that.