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Migrant crime turning cities into war zones

Criminals posing as asylum seekers are turning American cities into war zones.

The Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua, feared for how it tortures its victims, is setting up business in New York City, police sources reveal.

Gang members recruit migrants from shelters and as they come off buses from Texas, putting then to work in retail theft rings or on mopeds, grabbing phones and handbags and roughing up pedestrians.

“This is organized crime. It’s just like the Mafia,” says Paul DiGiacomo, president of the NYC Detectives’ Endowment Association.

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban warns of a “wave of migrant crime.” But New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says migrants “are looking for a better life.” True for many, not all.

NYC Comptroller Brad Lander accuses Caban of “fear mongering” and using a “Republican talking point.”

Migrants in moped gangs and retail theft rings, some carrying guns, are terrorizing the Big Apple, Yonkers and New Jersey.

Two-man teams snatch pedestrians’ phones and deliver them to Tren de Aragua stash houses, where professional hackers make fraudulent banking transactions and drain cash from all accounts. Then the phones are wiped clean and shipped to South America for resale.

A 62-year-old woman was brutally dragged down a Brooklyn street by one of these moped thieves who made off with her purse. When you see mopeds, step back from the curb and hug the building — advice usually needed in a third-world city, not New York.

A shopper at JD Sports near Times Square was shot in the leg by baby-faced, 15-year-old migrant Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa when a security guard tried to stop him from robbing the store on Feb. 8. Figueroa whipped out a .45-caliber handgun and shot into the crowd. He has since been apprehended by police.

Chicago is also being terrorized. There, professional criminals enlist migrants from the shelters to raid luxury stores at the suburban Oakbrook Center shopping mall, 5 miles west of the city. These migrants wouldn’t have a clue where Oak Brook, an upscale suburb, is, or how to get there without the criminal masterminds.

South American gangs are turning suburban malls into danger zones, explains retired Riverside, Illinois, Police Chief Tom Weitzel. “You’re at one of the suburban malls … pushing your kids in a stroller” and you can get caught in the violence, he said in an interview.

“A lot more crossing the border are criminals or have criminal intent than is being publicly said,” Weitzel added.

Paul Mauro, a retired inspector of the NYPD, agrees. The claim that Venezuela is emptying its prisons is accurate, he suggested in an interview.

Blame President Joe Biden’s open borders, but also the soft-on-crime Democrats in New York and Illinois, whose policies almost guarantee that migrant criminals can rob and assault without ever going to jail.

Hochul sweetens the attraction by guaranteeing asylum seekers cash welfare benefits — something the federal government bars so state and local taxpayers have to foot the entire bill.

On top of that, New York City is court-mandated to guarantee shelter to all, something Mayor Eric Adams should seek to overturn. NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny observed that “the network of thieves” lives mostly in the shelter system.

That includes the migrants who beat up two cops at Times Square on Jan. 27. They had a string of previous arrests but were still living in shelters, courtesy of N.Y. taxpayers.

Adams is imposing an 11 p.m. curfew at some shelters. That’s window dressing.

Providing room and board to the same people who rob and threaten us makes no sense. Once migrants get in trouble with the law, the shelter system should be notified and they should be evicted. The only shelter they get should be at Rikers.

The Statue of Liberty says, “Give me your tired, your poor.” It doesn’t say your lawbreakers, brutes and gang leaders.

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