Friday, August 26


Today's edition of the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) features yet another story on the dreaded Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) street gang, comprised of illegal aliens principally from El Salvadore and Guatemala, and how they're using south Texas' Rio Grande Valley as a corridor into the United States.

In the two southernmost Border Patrol sectors on the Texas border — headquartered in McAllen and Laredo — agents have arrested 96 members of the MS-13 gang so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2004, an agency spokesman said.

Although figures for the entire U.S.-Mexico border were not immediately available Thursday, most of the border arrests of MS-13 members have taken place in South Texas because of its proximity to Central America.

''They have a history of being very violent, and they are part of an organized criminal network heavily involved in human smuggling and drug smuggling," said Roy Cervantes, a spokesman for the Rio Grande Valley sector, where 48 gang members have been detained. ''They normally don't stay in the Valley; they use it as a corridor as they enter the United States and attempt to go to larger cities."

As a regular reader of the "Houston Chronicle" and a blogger who devotes a good deal of his writing to the issues of illegal immigration and the homeland security threat our nation's porous borders pose, I commend the "Houston Chronicle" for its ongoing coverage of this notorious immigrant gang's criminal activity -- a deadly street gang that is now known to be active in 33 states. The reach of MS-13 in our country and its unadulterated brutality ought to dispel the careworn notion of the open borders' apologists that illegal immigration across our southern border with Mexico is comprised strictly of desperate, but innocuous people looking for a better life in America.

As James Pinkerton of the Chronicle continues:

Cervantes said MS-13 members are traveling among large groups of immigrants from countries other than Mexico, which the agency refers to as ''OTMs." He stressed that gang members are placed in detention pending criminal proceedings or deportation.

''The Rio Grande Valley sector is an established corridor for smugglers that are moving OTMs into the interior, primarily because of geography, the (large) population and established smuggling networks on both sides of border," Cervantes said.

And in the sprawling Valley sector, which covers 316 miles of river from Brownsville to Roma, agents are now detaining more ''OTMs" than Mexicans, Cervantes said.

But there is good news/bad news in federal law enforcement's stepped up efforts at breaking the back of the MS-13 gang via its "Operation Community Shield" program and that is it doesn't do a bit of good to arrest and deport MS-13 gang members when the President of the United States and most members of Congress have turned a deaf ear to we majority of Americans demanding tighter border security. If they can breech our borders once, they can breech our borders again and again. With over 11 million illegal aliens already afoot in our land and with 10,000 a day breeching our borders, it follows that we have been ill-served by the do-nothings in Washington and particularly by a president who has built his presidency around the War On Terrorism, while leaving this country's porous borders a "Welcome" mat to people who do us harm.

With 8,000 to 10,000 MS-13 gang members operating in 33 states, would you say the Bush Administration has been looking out for us? Is that a fair trafe-off for so-called cheap, immigrant labor and an over-weening fealty to Vincente Fox and the corrupt government of Mexico?


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