Washington—Four members of a Hispanic gang in Los Angeles are convicted of federal hate crimes for the cold-blooded slaying of a black man in their neighborhood.
In Maryland, state corrections officials have begun a new study of prison gangs, including the growing numbers of Spanish-speaking gang members, amid mounting violence against prison workers.
A war between Hispanic and black prison gangs set off a series of riots across California this year leaving two dead and more than 100 were injured.
Pat Buchanan, WND columnist and author of the new best-selling book, “State of Emergency,” sees them as symptoms of out-of-control immigration into the U.S. mainly from Mexico and Central America.
“The country club Republicans may not recognize what is happening here, but those in America’s cities do,” he said. “Why are we risking the destruction of our country over this? How many unskilled workers do we need here?”
National crime statistics released by the FBI show homicides up 5 percent last year. But the real story, say experts, is what is happening in urban pockets across the country, where murders—increasingly across racial lines—are way up.
In Philadelphia’s 12th Police District shootings have almost doubled over the past year.
In Boston, the homicide rate is soaring.
In Orlando, the homicide count has reached 37, surpassing the city’s previous record.
All of this follows a national trend of decreasing violent crime through 2002.
The biggest increase in violence is in smaller cities where gang and drug problems are relatively new. In 2005, jurisdictions with populations between 50,000 and 250,000 saw homicide increases of about 12.5 percent—far larger than the big cities, says David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
More people are noticing that much of the violence is at least partly racially motivated and tied directly to the rapid increase in Hispanic population over the last decade—much of it due to illegal immigration.
Last month, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca cited tensions between black and Hispanic gangs for his decision to redeploy deputies to the Compton area, where four people were killed in 20 gang shootings during one July weekend.
Gang feuds were historically intra-racial rather than interracial. But that situation began to change with the heavy influx of Hispanics in some previously predominantly black neighborhoods.
For instance, in the late 1990s, newly arrived Hispanics began moving into the traditionally black communities of Compton and South Los Angeles. An area that was 80 percent black and 20 percent Hispanic is now 60 percent Hispanic, 40 percent black.
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations’ latest human rights report said there were 41 recorded cases of interracial gang-related hate crime in 2004. But commissioners agreed the real number would be much higher if victims were not afraid to go to the police.
“In the overwhelming number of these cases, Latino gang members spontaneously attacked African-American victims who had no gang affiliation,” the commission wrote.
It said conflicts between racially based prison gangs like the Mexican Mafia “can have a significant impact on racialized gang violence in L.A. County and contribute to the levels of hate violence involving gangs.”
Meanwhile, in Maryland, officials are increasingly concerned about the impact of growing numbers of Hispanic gang members in state prisons.
Karen V. Poe, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said the newly arrived Hispanic gangs—like MS-13—pose a new set of problems in prison.
“They’re not your Bloods and Crips,” Poe said. “We need to look at communicating with them, understanding what they’re saying to one another.”