How tightly linked is the illegal alien problem and the gang problem in Northern Virginia? From the look of today’s Washington Post, you’d have to come to the conclusion that they’re one and the same problem:
Of the 341 gang members arrested by ICE in the state between February 2005 and September 2007, almost 80 percent were members of MS-13, the study found. Gang investigators estimate that 90 percent of the members of that gang are illegal immigrants, the study said.
No, not every illegal alien is an MS-13 gang-banger, or a member of Surenos-13, or the “South Side Locos” which have exploded onto the scene lately. Plenty of illegal aliens have decided to confine their violations of the law to federal immigration violations, identity fraud, and tax evasion, but not professionalize themselves into full-fledged rapists, murders and illegal narcotics wholesalers. If we didn’t have illegal aliens unlawfully residing in our communities, we would however remove about 90% of the members of MS-13 and similar gangs.
Now that Prince William County is deporting more illegal aliens through the Section 287(g) Program than the entire State Department of Corrections and the Virginia State Police combined, perhaps recognition that there’s a serious problem here is past due in the Governor’s office, and by the House Democratic Caucus and Senate Caucus leadership. It’s well past time for Virginia and it’s localities to enroll in the Section 287(g) Program, and ensure that criminal illegal aliens are identified upon detainment, and promptly removed from the country at the end of their terms of confinement.
I’m actually surprised to see the Washington Post report this. These facts certainly seem to cut the legs out from under the editorials that have appeared in the Post opposing this program. It should also undercut the inanity coming from the Governor and several (but not all) members of his party. Is this the chance for those Democrats talking sense on this issue to finally get the Governor to listen? Let’s hope so.
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