Scott, Rubio, Salazar Call on White House to Designate Tren De Aragua as a Transnational Criminal Organization

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tim Scott joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and U.S. Representative María Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.-27) in urging President Biden to formally designating Tren de Aragua—a notorious Venezuelan gang, now found in the U.S. – as a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO). Tren de Aragua is a brutal criminal organization that originated in Venezuela’s prisons and has extended throughout the Western Hemisphere. This transnational criminal structure has spearheaded murders, bribery schemes, drug-trafficking, kidnappings, ransoms, arms trafficking, and money laundering.

“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 lawmakers wrote. “If left unchecked, they will unleash an unprecedented reign of terror, mirroring the devastation it has already inflicted in communities throughout Central and South America, most prominently in Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. The breadth of Tren de Aragua’s operations encompasses murder, drug and human trafficking, sex crimes, extortion, and kidnapping, among other brutalities. It is clear that most state and local law enforcement agencies are not yet prepared to handle the magnitude of this grave threat.”

“Heinous crimes committed by the Tren de Aragua, like the rapes of multiple children and the murders of retired police officer José Luis Sánchez Valera and nursing student Laken Riley, must stop. By designating the Tren de Aragua as a TCO, we will send a clear message that its reign of terror will not be tolerated, and that we will stand united in our resolve to protect our communities from the scourge of transnational organized crime. The time to act is now,” the lawmakers concluded.

The letter was also signed by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) as well as U.S. Representatives Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.-05), Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.-28), Chris Smith (R-N.J.-04), Tony González (R-Texas-23), Lance Gooden (R-Texas-05), Jenniffer González-Colón (R-P.R.), Mike Waltz (R-Fla.-06), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.-12), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.-02), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas-02), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.-26), and Scott Franklin (R-Fla.-18). 

Read the letter in full here.  


This letter follows a recent admission from FBI Director Christopher Wray that the wide array of national security threats coming across the Biden administration’s open border could include Tren de Aragua, and reports confirming Aragua gang members have infiltrated the United States’ open border.

Since President Biden instigated the open border policy, there has been an uptick in migrant crime in the U.S., including Tren de Aragua’s recent attack on New York City police officers, its’ alleged ties to 62 NYC robberies, and revelations that the brother of the suspect in the killing of Georgia student Laken Riley has ties to the gang.