- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2005

First Lady Laura Bush is leading a new initiative “to help America’s youth overcome the danger of gang influence and involvement.” With all due respect, this is a job best left to law enforcement professionals willing to get tough, get dirty and crack heads. From the suburbs to our national forests, savage criminal alien gangs infiltrate America and lure young recruits. Compassionate conservatism ain’t gonna stop them.

As many law enforcement sources have told me, native gangs such as the Bloods and Crips have nothing on the recent wave of criminal alien enterprises across the heartland. Recent enforcement action in New York demonstrates the scope. Last month, 41aliens with felony convictions were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in one day as part of a joint public safety initiative between ICE and the U.S. Probation Office of the Eastern District of New York.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the aliens arrested in New York — half of them here illegally — include natives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Trinidad, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

The operation targeted criminal aliens with prior felony convictions for “murder, firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, racketeering, fraud, false statements, receipt of stolen property, producing false identity documents, copyright infringement and other federal felonies.”

Martin D. Ficke, ICE special agent-in-charge, vowed: “These are the criminals who turn the American dream into a nightmare, and they will not be given the chance to cause more harm.” A nationwide tracking system for criminal alien felons would help, but to date no such program exists.

In Chicago, ICE agents and local cops specializing in gang-related activity undertook a similar operation across Chicago’s western suburbs targeting foreign-born members of violent Hispanic street gangs. A two-day campaign netted 19 criminal alien gangsters — mostly Mexican nationals with extensive criminal histories, including convictions for drugs, aggravated assault, firearms and theft. Over the last five years, ICE agents on Chicago’s Violent Gang Task Force have arrested more than 375 known gang members.

The most notorious criminal alien gang enterprise on the American landscape is Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, the El Salvadoran-based syndicate engaged in murder, drug trafficking and human smuggling across Central America and the United States. MS-13 members, many of them juveniles, have been implicated in gang rapes, machete mutilations and cop killings on both coasts. According to Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins, MS-13 paraphernalia and weaponry have been discovered deep on federal forest land in northern California, where Latino gangs have massive marijuana farms.

Ebner Anibal Rivera Paz, reputed leader of MS-13’s Honduran branch, was nabbed in Texas last month after escaping his native country, where he is wanted in connection with the Christmas holiday massacre of 28 people, including six children.

Rivera Paz’s appalling immigration history is a textbook example of how criminal alien gangs exploit our open borders. Prior to his Feb. 10 arrest — by the Texas highway patrol 100 miles inside the United States — Rivera Paz had waltzed in and out of the country illegally many times despite a long rap sheet and repeated deportations.

In 1993, at age 17, Rivera Paz was arrested by San Francisco police for selling drugs. Weeks later, he was arrested for auto theft and then for assault with a deadly weapon. The Border Patrol says he has been arrested at least eight times in California since 2001 for crimes ranging from passing bad checks and using false identification to burglary, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

According to a criminal complaint filed last month in federal court, Rivera Paz was deported or excluded from the U.S. on four separate occasions before his final capture. If not for alert Texas highway patrolmen willing to help enforce immigration law, Rivera Paz would be home free again.

The revolving door for illegal alien gangsters keeps spinning. The solution lies with increased federal-local cooperation, aggressive deportation and uncompromising immigration enforcement — not with warm-and-fuzzy photo ops at the first lady’s breakfast table.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores” (Regnery).

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide