The most notorious criminal alien gang enterprise on the American landscape is Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, the El Salvadoran-based syndicate engaged in murder, drug trafficking, and human smuggling across Central America and the United States. MS-13 members, many of them juveniles, have been implicated in gang rapes, machete mutilations and cop killings on both coasts. According to Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins, MS-13 paraphernalia and weaponry have been discovered deep on federal forest land in northern California, where Latino gangs have established massive marijuana-growing operations.
Most recently, Ebner Anibal Rivera Paz, the reputed leader of MS-13's Honduran branch, was nabbed in Texas last month after escaping from his native country, where he's wanted in connection with the Christmas holiday massacre of 28 people, including six children.
Rivera Paz's appalling immigration history is a textbook example of how criminal alien gangs exploit our open borders. Prior to being caught on Feb. 10 -- by Texas highway patrol officers 100 miles inside the U.S. -- Rivera Paz had waltzed in and out of the country illegally numerous times despite a long rap sheet and repeated deportations.
In 1993, at the age of 17, Rivera Paz was arrested by San Francisco police for selling drugs. Weeks later, he was arrested for auto theft and then for assault with a deadly weapon. According to the Border Patrol, he has been arrested in California at least eight times since 2001 for crimes ranging from passing bad checks and using false identification to burglary, robbery and criminal conspiracy.
According to a criminal complaint filed last month in federal court, Rivera Paz was deported or excluded from the U.S. four separate times before his final capture. If not for alert Texas highway patrolmen willing to help enforce immigration law, Rivera Paz would be home free again.
The revolving door for illegal alien gangsters keeps spinning. The solution lies with increased federal-local cooperation, aggressive deportation and uncompromising immigration enforcement -- not with warm-and-fuzzy photo ops at the first lady's breakfast table.