First Lady Laura Bush is leading a new initiative "to help America's youth overcome the danger of gang influence and involvement." With all due respect to the first lady, this is a job best left to law enforcement professionals willing to get tough, get dirty and crack heads. From the suburbs to our national forests, savage criminal alien gangs are infiltrating America and luring young recruits. Compassionate conservatism ain't gonna stop them.
As many law enforcement sources have been informing me, native gangs such as the Bloods and Crips have nothing on the recent wave of criminal alien enterprises settling across the heartland. Recent enforcement action in New York demonstrates the scope of the problem. Last month in New York, 41 criminal aliens with felony convictions were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on a single day as part of a joint public safety initiative between ICE and the U.S. Probation Office of the Eastern District of New York.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the aliens arrested in New York -- half of whom were here illegally -- include citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Trinidad, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. The operation targeted criminal aliens with prior felony convictions for "murder, firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, racketeering, fraud, false statements, receipt of stolen property, producing false identity documents, copyright infringement and other federal felonies."
Martin D. Ficke, ICE special agent-in-charge in New York, vowed: "These are the criminals who turn the American dream into a nightmare, and they will not be given the chance to cause more harm."
A nationwide tracking system for criminal alien felons would help this effort, but to date no such program exists.
In Chicago, ICE agents and local cops specializing in gang-related activity undertook a similar operation across Chicago's western suburbs targeting foreign-born members of violent Hispanic street gangs. A two-day campaign netted 19 criminal alien gangsters -- mostly Mexican nationals with extensive criminal histories, including convictions for drugs, aggravated assault, firearms and theft. Over the past five years, ICE agents on Chicago's Violent Gang Task Force have arrested more than 375 known gang members.