Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Freedom from Gangs

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns need to free the United States from gangs of criminals. These gangs are some of the secret combinations that weaken and destroy nations. President Donald Trump vowed to rid the nation of the gang known as MS-13, a violent international gang.

            Josh Siegel  posted an article at The Daily Signal about the gangs in the United States. He references the Trump administration’s efforts to “eradicate the [MS-13] gang by cracking down on illegal immigration. He quotes U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s statement to local law enforcement.

The MS-13 motto is kill, rape, and control…. Our motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals. That’s how simple it is. Prosecute them, and after they’ve been convicted, if they’re not here lawfully, they’re going to be deported.

            Siegel says that “law enforcement experts who study MS-13 – and have been working to help combat it – welcomed President Donald Trump’s tough approach to the gang, but cautioned that the federal government should not lose sight of other violent gangs with footprints in the U.S.” He quotes FBI statistics as saying that “there are about 33,000 active gangs in the U.S., with about 1.4 million members.” He also quotes experts as saying that “immigration enforcement is only one element of a strategy that the U.S. has waged for decades against MS-13.” He reminds his readers that MS-13 has both illegal and legal members.

            Siegel includes some facts about MS-13. The gang is the result of “thousands of people” fleeing civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. They immigrated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles. The real name of the gang is “Mara Salvatrucha,” but it is known as MS-13. A research report says that the first members were “former guerillas and El Salvadoran government soldiers with combat experience. Those initial members helped the gang develop a reputation of using unusual methods of violence –most prominently, its choice of machetes as a murder weapon.”

            Siegel includes other facts about MS-13 as follow: (1) 30,000 members worldwide with 10,000 members in the United States. (2) Members of the gang are in 40 states, including Maryland, New York, and Virginia, plus Washington, D.C. (3) Members are also found in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. (4) Their crimes are mainly extortion but also include street-level drug trafficking, theft, robbery, and murder-for-hire. (5) Distinctive signs include tattoos, graffiti, hand signs, and slang.

            Apparently, this gang was formed by the immigrants of El Salvador as protection from Mexican gangs and African-American gangs. It gained members and power in El Salvador in the mid-1990s when the United States increased the deportation of gang members and El Salvador was not equipped to deal with “the return of their troubled nationals.” The gang in the United States grew when those formerly deported gang members returned to the United States. In addition, young people from El Salvador enter the United States illegally and join the gang.

            Building a wall along the southern border of the United States will stop most of the illegals entering the nation, but a barrier will not solve all the problems with gangs. The United States has embedded agents in Central America to help local police deal with the threat from MS-13. The problems with gangs in those countries are even greater than in the United States. This means that the eradication of MS-13 and other gangs will require a multi-prong approach.

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