News 12 Long Island Posted: Jul 28, 2017 1:31 PM EDT
President Donald Trump’s speech focused on gangs and the explosive growth of MS-13.
Pro-Trump demonstrators said the president is addressing an issue important to people on Long Island.
“I grew up in Bay Shore my whole life and the gang violence has gotten a lot worse since I got out of high school,” said Brett Frazier.
Trump supporters said that regardless of what people think of the president’s policies, Long Islanders shouldn’t lose focus on illegal gangs.
“They don’t get it,” said Mel Callahan, of Miller Place. “The president is here for a certain reason: MS-13. Some families lost their children. That’s what it’s about today.”
Protesters upset with Trump also gathered outside the campus, unhappy with Trump’s leadership since his election.
“I am outraged that our country has been taken over by vulgar racists,” one protester told News 12 Long Island.
And some said the gang issue is just a smoke screen for anti-immigrant policies of the president.
“We are a community of immigrants. We are a nation of immigrants. And the answer to this is meaningful immigration reform,” said Shoshana Hershkowitz, of South Setauket. “It’s not demonizing an entire community.”