“I`m Gang-American”—Salvadoran Illegals Want To Stay Where They Can Get Away With Murder
If only those poor Salvadoran
immigrant Mara Salvatrucha gang members could get some
decent job training and weren`t so persecuted by the
police, they could turn their lives around.
And Americans had better get some
sympathy going for the MS-13 gang right away—because it
is our fault, after all, that these unfortunates have
become cheap, cowardly, murdering hoods.
So goes the preposterous theory
advanced by Luis J. Rodriguez in his March 28th
New York Times Op-ed titled "A
Gang of Our Own Making." (E-mail
the NYT "Public Editor" Daniel Okrent to
protest this outrageous piece of nonsense.)
As an adult Rodriquez gave up
crime, began a career in
journalism and became an activist for youth
causes—particularly gang youths.
And, suggests Rodriguez, the Mara
Salvatrucha deserve all the efforts we can make on their
"MS-13 is a result of our
policy in Central America…"
Rodriguez argues that when 2
refugees landed in the U.S.:
"Some of their children
Mexican-American gangs in the barrios where they
landed. For their protection, they created their own
groups, emulating the style of older Chicano gangs like
18th Street. MS-13, for instance, was born in the
crowded, crack-ridden Mexican and Central-American
community of Pico-Union, just west of the skyscrapers of
downtown Los Angeles."
When their violent crimes became
known to law enforcement, says Rodriguez, 40,000 MS-13`s
But, contends Rodriguez, that idea
English-speaking young men raised and acculturated in
the United States were sent to countries with no
resources, no jobs and no history with these types of
"Soon the deported
members of MS-13 and 18th Street began recruiting among
glue-sniffing youth who had never been to the United
States. In a few years, these new members were making
their way to the United States, ending up in far-flung
corners of the country and recruiting a new generation."
See how America is to blame?
According to Rodriguez, some gang members:
"…Wanted to be
incorporated into the country, to be allowed to rebuild,
to learn skills, to make decisions about bettering their
communities and to stop being harassed or beaten by the
police and attacked by death squads."
Furthermore, Rodriguez is bent out of shape because
former MS-13 and 18th Street gangs formed
All of this is staggering absurdity.
I crack up when I hear people lobby for more "programs."
If the taxpayers in my home state of
California knew the
half of it, they would
storm Sacramento. Even while running huge
deficits, California has more programs than you can
shake a stick at.
Rodriguez should know, but obviously doesn`t, that
all the job training in the world is available to anyone
who wants it – even Mara Salvatruchas.
Here are a few options for the "homies":
- Show up at the
Los Angeles County Regional Occupation Program
office. There, to list but a few options, they can get
training to become dental or medical assistants,
computer technicians or graphic designers. Classes are
free or close to it.
- For those among the Mara Salvatruchas who are US
citizens or legal immigrants, they can get further
career counseling and financial assistance through the
- Greater Los Angeles has
nine community colleges. Fees are $26 per credit.
The colleges offer everything from
agriculture technology to welding and cutting. If
you don`t have a car or can`t afford the bus fare,
- Even getting those nasty tats removed is on the
house in California. Programs funded through the
California Youth Authority and other
grant making organizations will, in
exchange for several hours of community service,
In the unlikely event that a Mara Salvatrucha
fulfills his commitment to going straight, there remains
the hurdle of the real world.
Who in his right mind would hire a former Mara
Salvatrucha gangster when the state is teeming with
wholesome, eager job seekers?
What to do with these guys?
The Mara Salvatrucha, largely ignored for years, is
finally drawing the attention of the
F.B.I. and the governments of Central America.
If deported, the MS-13s do indeed continue their
lives of crime when they land back home. Not
Central American leaders are pleading for help in
dealing with the repatriated punks. [4
Presidents Seek Help in Gang Battle By Chris
Kraul, Robert Lopez and Rich Connell, Los Angeles
Times, April 2, 2005]
The Mara Salvatruchas are human boomerangs with
deeply entrenched violent habits. Since they re-appear
in the US as soon as possible, the problem they present
remains greater for America than El Salvador.
As one MS-13, Walter "The Scorpion" Cabrera,
"I cannot survive in El
Salvador. I`m too Americanized. It`s so hot there and
air-conditioning. I need
hamburgers, macaroni, good pizza. I`m not really
American or Central American. If anything I`m
Deports Felons but Can`t Keep Them Out,”
Deborah Sontag, New York Times, August 11, 1997.
To date, stopping the determined Mara Salvatruchas
from re-entering the U.S. has been tough.
Jerry White, Painesville, Ohio, police chief said:
"It`s been our experience
that these people come back. We recognize the faces even
though they`re now using the maiden name of their
mother`s aunt twice removed."
In the end, as with all other immigration problems,
the solution lies at the
Since most Mara Salvatruchas come back into the U.S.
via Mexico, a sealed border would be the first step in
keeping the gangsters off our streets.
Tightened borders may not represent the complete
solution to the Mara Salvatrucha. But it`s a great place
Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.