“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
the NYT "Public Editor" Daniel Okrent to
protest this outrageous piece of nonsense.)  

Rodriguez is a Mexican-born, Los
Angeles-raised former gang member who achieved
short-lived notoriety when his book,

Always Running: Gang Days in L.A,
was published
in 1993. (E-mail
him too!)

Always Running, which
graphically recounted Rodriguez`s

as a gang member and convict, created a stir in

academic circles
when many

school districts
banned it for being

too vivid.

As an adult Rodriquez gave up
crime, began a career in

and became an activist for youth
causes—particularly gang youths.

Rodriguez`s latest project is
trying to convince us that members of the

most blood-thirsty gang
ever, the

Mara Salvatrucha
, can be turned into responsible
citizens if only they could get a chance.

And, suggests Rodriguez, the Mara
Salvatrucha deserve all the efforts we can make on their
behalf because:

"MS-13 is a result of our

in Central America…"

Rodriguez argues that when 2
million Salvadoran

landed in the U.S.:

"Some of their children
confronted well-entrenched
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
were deported.

But, contends Rodriguez, that idea
backfired because:

"Sophisticated, tattooed,
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
homeless and

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?

We screwed up in

Central America,

do enough
for the refugees after they arrived and
erred in deporting the most hardened of them back to El

To make amends, we have to

these murdering misfits and then

employ them
in our local businesses.

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

"A peace and justice
organization called `Homies
` but their efforts over the years to obtain
jobs, training

tattoo removal
and counseling were largely ignored."

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

knew the

half of it
, they would
storm Sacramento
. Even while running huge

, 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
    Los Angeles-based


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?

Imagine what the typical MS-13 "resume" looks
like: various stretches in the

federal pen

multiple deportations
isn`t a very comforting
picture for a prospective employee.

What to do with these guys?

The Mara Salvatrucha, largely ignored for years, is
finally drawing the attention of the
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
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
there`s no
. I need

hamburgers, macaroni, good pizza
. I`m not really
American or Central American. If anything I`m
Gang-American." [“U.S.
Deports Felons but Can`t Keep Them Out

Deborah Sontag, New York Times, August 11, 1997.
Pay Archive.]

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
to start.

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.