Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Unintended consequences

USA Today has an overview of the MS-13 menace.

Just committing the crimes that Americans won't commit, right?
Oh, so clever. So pithy. So racist and wrong.

A while back I posted about the fact that MS-13 pretty much represents the effects of US foreign policy coming home to roost. Now reader Nathaniel R. points out another interesting tidbit about MS-13:
If she knew anything about the history of this gang, which I know would be asking for way too much, research is such a pain, she would know that knee jerk immigration laws are what created this menace in the first place. In the early 90's when people were screaming about dangerous criminals etc a law was passed that deported all felons without citizenship. While this may have been an okay law, the way it was implemented (not telling the countries who these people we were sending back etc) resulted in a lot of harden[ed] gang members with no family being dumped on the streets. In El Salvador this was a particularly acute problem...
I think that Nathaniel's in error about the very genesis of the gang - MS-13 began in the 80s - but the crackdowns he described certainly helped take the gang international. And it's still going on.
But a deportation policy aimed in part at breaking up a Los Angeles street gang has backfired and helped spread it across Central America and back into other parts of the United States. Newly organized cells in El Salvador have returned to establish strongholds in metropolitan Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities. Prisons in El Salvador have become nerve centers, authorities say, where deported leaders from Los Angeles communicate with gang cliques across the United States.

A gang that once numbered a few thousand and was involved in street violence and turf battles has morphed into an international network with as many as 50,000 members, the most hard-core engaging in extortion, immigrant smuggling and racketeering. In the last year, the federal government has brought racketeering cases against MS-13 members in Long Island, N.Y., and southern Maryland.
Just committing the crimes America helped teach them to commit, eh, Malkins?