Immigrant Gangs: Pols Still Don’t Get It

Jon Feere, Center for Immigration Studies, January 5, 2009

In their quest for open borders, many politicians still fail to understand the link between immigration and the growth of gangs.

The latest example is chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.)—who happens to have one of the worst records on immigration enforcement. In the next Congress, Baca plans to introduce an initiative to fight gangs. It sounds like a great idea, but if his past efforts are a guide, it’s likely that this initiative will focus only on prevention programs akin to the anti-drug program known as D.A.R.E.

The problem with this effort is that it in no way addresses the continuous flow of illegal alien gangsters over our borders. Congress could dramatically reduce the growth of gangs simply through better enforcement of immigration law, as illustrated in a recent Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder I co-authored with the Center’s Senior Policy Analyst Jessica Vaughan titled, “Taking Back the Streets{snip}

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Baca is asking President-elect Obama to stop workplace enforcement via executive order upon taking office. What the congressman fails to realize that many illegal alien gang members rarely make a living as gangsters; many work regular jobs in restaurants, construction, and landscaping, for example. It’s after dusk when they hone their machete-wielding skills. Arresting these individuals at work rather than at a crime scene is clearly ideal.

Baca explains that ending workplace enforcement would “reduce the fear of deportation.” But such a change would only embolden illegal alien gang members, individuals who should fear deportation.

Baca is also chomping at the bit for another amnesty debate. {snip}

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