Heritage Foundation Announces Web-Based School Choice Clearinghouse
WASHINGTON, MARCH 22, 2005-As the recent arrests across the country
of 100 members of the El Salvador-based Mara Salvatrucha gang
indicate, it's not just the poor sections of major cities that have
gang problems anymore.
In what federal officials
promised was merely the first salvo in a war on escalating gang
activity, MS member were apprehended-mostly for immigration
violations-in Baltimore, New York and Los Angeles, but also in the
Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and in Irving,
Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
arrests indicate officials recognize that gangs are no longer local
or even regional in nature. MS, whose U.S. base is in Los Angeles,
is part of a transnational group that operates throughout Mexico
and Central America, making millions of dollars selling drugs,
fencing stolen cars, trafficking in arms and smuggling illegal
As a new paper from The Heritage Foundation points out, this
growing international nature of gangs requires a coordinated
response. And quickly, before these gangs begin to smuggle into the
country terrorists with designs on far bigger crimes.
As such, say Heritage crime
analyst David Muhlhausen and Latin American expert Stephen Johnson,
federal and state law enforcement should collaborate to:
- Curb factors that lead to gang growth, such as the
destabilization of neighborhoods, through more effective policing
and immigration reforms that filter out undocumented
- Implement multi-agency, multi-strategy policing that includes
police, probation officers, social workers and community
Internationally, Muhlhausen and Johnson say, the United States
- Promote open markets to increase employment opportunities,
wages and other factors.
- Strengthen the rule of law by bolstering real judicial reform
in Mexico and Central America.
- Promote family-friendly policies and better education.
- Cooperate with partner countries by sharing intelligence on
gangs and promoting collaboration among U.S. and foreign
immigration and customs personnel.
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