Illegal aliens, crime and gang violence: Could there possibly be a connection
This somewhat ludicrous question has arisen as a result of discussions here and at the Loudoun Democrats blog, so I will suppress the urge to simply say "Pshaw!" and attempt to provide an answer.
At the Loudoun Democrats blog Frequent NVTH commenter Jonathan takes Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio to task for comments he made the other night at the Help Save Loudoun meeting:
...Delgaudio also asked if the police can put together a federal RICO case. The officers explained that a federal case is a great deal of work and that the local gangs mark territory and fight among themselves, but are not involved in meth production or other major crimes. No matter for Eugene:
"Frank Wolf got us $2.5M for a Federal Gang Task Force and is looking for $2.5M more"
No Tax Delgaudio seems ready and willing to spend, spend, spend for any program that increases the ability of authorities to profile, spy illegally, and generally restrict freedom. Watch out, Delgaudio is soon to present a study of a Herndon police effort to deport jailed immigrants...
...Supervisor Delgaudio's RICO suggestion would give these at risk youth long jail sentences simply for knowing the wrong person. Like the NY Rockefeller drug laws, RICO would ruin lives, burden taxpayers, and fail miserably at solving the root cause of the problem. These kids need education and "a little bit of lovin" according to the Peaceaholics rep, not curfews, crackdowns and jail time.
First: "A little bit of lovin" is without doubt a unique proposal for dealing with MS-13, but if we can't count on such suggestions from the Democrats, then what do we have Democrats for? Second: Supervisor Delgaudio was likely not thinking of schoolchildren when he asked about whether gang activity falls under RICO. The overarching theme from the Democratic bloggers is: Gangs are more a matter of teenage identity crisis than community violence.
This is a noble assumption but, I would boldly suggest, a tad naive.
Here, local gadfly Zimzo chortles at the very notion that illegal aliens have anything to do with increased crime:
...according to "On Immigration and Crime," a study in 2001 done for the U.S. Department of Justice. The report said that most studies in the past century show that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the rest of the population."
Zimzo's source for this slam-dunk fact is a single news item referencing a 2001 study.
By way of background, let me note that if it were ever proven that illegal aliens do cause an increase in violent crime in the U.S., Zimzo would counter with data on the number of civilian casualties in Iraq.
I'll start by recommending everyone read T.J. Bonner's report which includes information about tactics employed to outwit the Border Patrol and move criminals into the U.S.
Next, let's look at some information slightly less than five years old and more diverse than a single statistical study: news items from the past month. (Empasis added throughout).
It happens every night. Federal flights called J-Pats loaded with illegal immigrants going thru deportation, more than 200 thousand of them in a year. Close to half with criminal histories. Known felons. Gang members...
...Immigration and customs enforcement or ICE has a year old campaign it calls community shield. They've arrested 33-hundred gang members. Nearly half of them with violent criminal histories, eleven hundred from the gang MS-13...
...MS13 has been called the most violent gang in the country. It has a lot of competition. Ice says illegal immigrants are a significant factor with gangs and gang violence...
Virginia: Anti-gang efforts enhanced
...Several officials spoke about the rise of violent gangs in a region where such a trend would have been unthinkable just 15 years ago.
But immigration has changed the region's demographic make-up -- particularly laborers from Central America drawn to jobs in the region's agribusiness. With them has followed what officials describe as a small but significant minority of violent gang members who prey on immigrants and others in the community.
The trend threatens the dream of pastoral tranquility with which the Shenandoah Valley is associated, Brownlee said.
"Gangs and the violence that they bring to a community, in my opinion, are a direct assault on that dream," he said.
A region in which homicides are rare has seen three gang-related killings since 2001.
U.S. Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th, said the FBI has identified six gangs in the valley. The largest is MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, which officials estimate has about 1,500 members in Northern and northwestern Virginia, and which is determined to increase its numbers, Goodlatte said...
Maryland: Candidates address crime in Langley Park
...Langley Park has been a hotbed for crime. Car thefts, burglaries and murder â€” the latter believed to be perpetrated by MS-13 gang members â€” have resulted in a greater police presence in the area...
...Davis said Langley Park has a strong gang presence, and the recent crackdown on roadside truck vending has helped curb gang activity.
Some vendors were known to be lookouts for MS-13 gang members, Davis said...
(Roadside vending trucks comprise a significant portion of local zoning violations involving illegal residents.)
...Known to use machetes for murders and dismembering body parts, MS-13 is in the illegal drug, gun and human slave trade. Members who smuggle illegal immigrants across the U.S. border are known as "Coyotes," according to Lt. Simpson.
Reports show members are mostly illegals from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico and operate in a business-like fashion much like the traditional mafia....
...As for the three Hispanic suspects, 19-year-old Edwin Daniel Almenderez-Ulloa and 25-year-old Cesar O'Hara Ortiz are being held under federal warrants by U.S. Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Johnson said they are illegal immigrants and will be held until a grand jury meets in September to consider felony charges related to the killing.
California: Leader of notorious MS-13 gang arrested
...Since Bonilla came to the East Bay from San Francisco six months ago, MS-13 members have been linked to three homicides and several other shootings as it sought to carve out territory and intimidate other gangs, authorities said this morning...
...Bonilla, who police referred to as a "shot caller" because of his alleged high status, has a record of previous arrests on assault with a deadly weapon and firearms charges. He was arrested this morning for immigration violations and could face additional criminal charges stemming from his alleged gang activities....
...The raid was the culmination of a six-month operation and included members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Richmond Police Department.
MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, is a predominantly Salvadoran gang that has long been active in Central America and Los Angeles, authorities said. In recent years it has spread to several other major U.S. cities.
Many gang members are former members of the Salvadoran military and have gained a reputation for extreme violence, including machete attacks on its enemies...
New Jersey: Out for Bloods: Police arrest 41 alleged gang members
..."We have a variety of gangs in Passaic County," Avigliano said. "In Paterson we have the Bloods, the Market Street Dominicans and a couple of other smaller gangs. In Passaic, we have MS-13 and in Clifton you also have some gangs.
"If you go up-county to Bloomingdale and to Pompton Lakes you have the MS-13 problem where you have a tremendous number of Mexican workers"...
Virginia: Crime Generates Shock, Alarm and Resignation
...A COVENTRY SQUARE SAID someone painted MS-13 on the tree in front of the targeted house in the spring. Loudoun County has Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13, 18th Street, South Side Locos and other gangs...
Ohio: Latin Gangs Moving Into Tri-State
Investigators in two counties say they are looking for four Latino men they know only by the street names Tigre, Chango, Negro and Pinkey. The four are wanted in connection with a violent workplace assault that happened on a Hamilton Township construction site July 14th. In this developing story, Local 12's Rich Jaffe says the attack still has people on the job site living in fear...
Gary Crouch, Hamilton Police: "We're identifying more and more gang members with national ties, bigger larger organizations in the Hispanic community...very well organized, victims don't like to come forward...."
Police say with our growing Latino population, the Latin gangs will grow as well...
Texas: BP: Many immigrants claiming to be Salvadoran lying
...After more than 15 years with the Border Patrol, Cervantes has learned to be skeptical when undocumented immigrants claim to be Salvadoran.
Many of them, he said, are lying.
Because of the 1982 Orantes injunction, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has to treat Salvadorans differently from other undocumented immigrants. While the vast majority of detained immigrants are subject to expedited removal, or removal without a judicial hearing, Salvadorans are released on their own recognizance and given a notice to appear in federal court.
...Border Patrol agents are concerned that among the Salvadoran immigrants who enter the country via the Valley are members of MS-13, a Salvadoran gang known for drug smuggling and gun running along the border.
"We consider them an emerging threat to our communities,â€ Cervantes said. â€œA part of our national Border Patrol strategy calls for responding to emerging threats like MS-13"...
Finally, for a large number of additional news sources, review the voluminous footnotes at the bottom of this article.
...Offenders were located in 36 states, but it is clear, that the most of the offenders were located in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants. California was number one, followed by Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, and Florida.
Based on population numbers of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants and the fact that young males make up more of this population than the general U.S. population, sex offenders in the illegal immigrant group make up a higher percentage. When examining ICE reports and public records, it is consistent to find sex offenders comprising 2% of illegals apprehended. Based on this 2% figure, which is conservative, there are approximately 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States.
This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day. The 1500 offenders in this study had a total of 5,999 victims. Each sex offender averaged 4 victims. This places the estimate for victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months examined in this study...
Of the 1500 cases reviewed, 525 (35%) were child molestations, 358 (24%) were rapes, and 617 (41%) were sexual homicides and serial murders. Of the child molestations, 47% of the victims were Hispanic, 36% were Caucasian, 8% were Asian, 6% were African American, and 3% were other nationalities. In most instances, the offenders were familiar with their victims. In fact, 82% of the victims were known to their attackers. The other 18% were molested by strangers. In those instances, the illegal immigrants typically gained access to the victims after having worked as a day laborer at or near the victimsâ€™ homes. Victims ranged in age from 1 year old to 13 years old, with the average age being 6.
In rape cases, the offenders were less likely to know their victims. Only 64% of the victims knew their attackers. Furthermore, rape victims proved to be more diverse than child molestation victims. Hispanic and Caucasian victims were identical at 35% each.
The next most likely victims were African American women, and other nationalities comprised the remainder. These women suffered brutal attacks. Commonly, a weapon was used to control the victims. These weapons were most often sharp instruments. And the victims were beaten during the rapes over 70% of the time. Offenders engaged in sodomy in 67% of the attacks, and gang rape took place in .007% of the cases. Rape victims ranged in age from 16-79 and averaged age 23.
Serial rapists accounted for 3% of all illegal immigrant rapists. Each serial rapist averaged 5 victims, with the number of victims ranging from 2 to 11. Two serial rapists were confirmed HIV positive, and another offender had a venereal disease.
The murders were the worst of the sex crimes and were especially vicious. The most common method was for an offender to break into a residence and ambush his victims. Not only were victims raped, but some (6%) were mutilated. The crime scenes were very bloody, expressing intense, angry perpetrator personalities. Specifically, most victims were blitzed, rendered incapable of fighting back, and then raped and murdered. The most common method of killing was bludgeoning, followed by stabbing. Caucasians were more likely to become victims of sexual homicide committed by illegal immigrants. Hispanics were second, and African Americans were third...
In sum, I'm not sure whether there is yet any scientifically incontrovertible proof of a connection between illegal aliens and violent crime, but the overwhelming evidence suggests you have to be wearing rose-colored glasses to say there is not.
UPDATE: Just this hour, more hysteria for my pal Zimzo.
Authorities have arrested 326 people in the Houston area, including some accused of murder, as part of a national crackdown on illegal immigrants.
They were accused of crimes including homicide, aggravated sexual assault of minors, robbery, assault, human smuggling and narcotics trafficking.
"Criminal aliens are a threat to the safety of our children, families, community and our nation,'' said Kenneth L. Landgrebe, field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Detention and Removal Operations office in Houston. "Our goal is to remove these threats from the United States.''
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