This month, the United States deported an MS-13 informant back to El Salvador despite warnings that members of the violent gang would hunt him down and kill him, ProPublica reports. The 19-year-old informant, identified only as Henry, became an informant to help law enforcement arrest other MS-13 members, but his FBI gang task force handler broke a vow to help him, and immigration authorities revealed his identity. This month, Henry was reportedly forced to go into hiding after being deported. His deportation, ProPublica notes, shows how difficult it is for immigrants fleeing MS-13 to get asylum in the U.S., and how a new Trump administration directive that immigrants targeted by gangs should not be granted special status has stacked the odds against them in immigration court.
The immigration judge presiding over Henry’s case issued an emotional decision. Judge Thomas Mulligan wrote that he was “very sympathetic” to him and found his testimony “truthful.” Nevertheless, Mulligan ruled that he had no choice but to deport Henry under the law, because Henry had admitted to participating in two MS-13 murders when he was 12-years-old, and because his chances of being tortured in El Salvador were less than 50 percent.