Gangs are Expanding, Evolving and Posing Increasing Threat to US Communities

I was sent a link to the latest FBI gang assessment, entitled, “The Continuing Gang Threat- Latest Assessment Released” which was posted on the FBI website yesterday, Friday, 21st of October 2011. It does not make for good bedtime reading unless you don’t want to sleep!

I have provided you with a summary of that report below.

Here is a link to that report in its entirety:

The report provides ample evidence that the threats posed to our nation and our citizens are becoming ever more serious and now pose a grave threat to national security as well as law enforcement. Furthermore, the assessment details how both the northern and southern borders of the United States are being utilized by various gangs that are becoming ever more ruthless and creative in their efforts to commit crimes that include an ever wider spectrum of crimes that include alien smuggling, human trafficking, gun running, narcotics trafficking and other such extremely serious criminal activities.

The assessment estimates that there are now 1.4 million street gang members who not only operate on the streets of America’s cities and towns but also operate within the jails of our nation! This number is far greater than all of the local, city and state police officers of the United States!

What is also extremely disturbing is how these various gangs are now attempting and succeeding in infiltrating law enforcement and other sectors within our government.

Consider this link to the segment of the report that deals with this threat:

Gang Infiltration of Corrections, Law Enforcement & Government

While not all gang members are aliens, it most be presumed that a significant percentage of gang members are, in fact, foreign nationals.

It is worth noting that the FBI press release begins with the following statement:

Gangs are expanding, evolving, and posing an increasing threat to U.S. communities.

That’s the bottom line of the just-released 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, and it probably doesn’t come as a great surprise to anyone who follows the news or is active in their community.

Yet Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of DHS (Department of Homeland Surrender) continues to claim that our borders are safe! I would guess that she would be surprised to know what is contained in this report since she blithely ignores the lack of integrity to be found at both the northern and southern borders!

When the candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination and other political “leaders” of our country talk about immigration they tend to limit the discussion to the U.S. / Mexican border and to my recollection, the Canadian border has yet to be brought up in the GOP Presidential debates. I still cannot get the words out of my head when Jonathan Huntsman, in responding to a question about the immigration crisis said that if elected President, he would work with the governors of the “Four border states!”

Clearly he was giving no thought whatsoever to the northern border or to the other ports of entry to be found along the 95,000 miles of the U.S. coastline or the numerous international airports!

Speaking about the Canadian border, consider this excerpt from the FBI press release:

Gangs along the border. Along the Southwest border, U.S.-based gangs assist in the smuggling of drugs, arms, and illegal immigrants and serve as enforcers for Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ interests on the U.S. side of the border. Gangs also pose a growing problem for law enforcement along the U.S.-Canada border-smuggling drugs, cigarettes, firearms, and immigrants.

Of course there has been no mention of how the immigration bureaucracy has not integrity and how criminals and terrorists are often provided with lawful status in the United States and even with resident alien (lawful immigrant) status and even United States citizenship. USCIS, (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is the division of the DHS that is responsible for adjudicating each and every application for every immigration benefit that aliens or their sponsors file on behalf of these aliens with more than 6 million such applications being filed for aliens each and every year. Even though the 9/11 Commission made it clear that this system has vital national security implications and that terrorists have used immigration benefit fraud and visa fraud to enter the United States and embed themselves within communities across our nation- virtually nothing has been done to insure that this essential component of national security has even a modicum of integrity!

I would urge you to read the gang assessment which can be accessed by clicking on the links contained in the FBI press release that I have attached below.

The primary responsibility of any government is to insure the safety of its citizens. How safe can the citizens of our nation be when increasing numbers of extremely violent gangs including gangs whose members are predominantly citizens of foreign countries be, are setting up shop in an increasing number of cities and town across our nation?

Where alien gang members are concerned, you should also consider the fact that these transnational gang members have a capability that native born U.S. citizen gang members which they had- the ability to flee from the United States when they believe that either law enforcement or their criminal competitors are getting close to them. They can, all too often, escape the “long arm of the law” by making use of the trap-door that is afforded them because they can return to their home countries where extradition back to the United States is unlikely or, depending on their country of citizenship, may even be impossible!

The current edition of “The Social Contract” contains an extensive article I wrote about the issue of “Immigration and Crime.” I would suggest that when you finish reading the FBI Gang Assessment, that you check out my article.

Here is the link to “The Social Contract:”

As you no doubt remember, the administration is, once again, attempting to foist the DREAM Act on this nation. One of the ways that an alien would be able to qualify for lawful status would be to become a member of the U.S. armed forces. Certainly there have been aliens who joined our military and through their bravery made important contributions to our national security. The problem is that when we deal with illegal aliens our government is often unable to determine the true identities of these aliens. It may even be impossible to determine the true identities of these illegal aliens. This creates a real vulnerability for our nation and our armed forces- having members within their ranks whose true intentions, possible affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations may be impossible to determine. Of course it is also important to note that an illegal alien who is found to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition is committing a felony.

It gives me great pause to contemplate our military providing illegal aliens with military training. As an INS Special Agent in the late 1970’s, i worked with the NYPD, the Office of Naval Intelligence as NIS was then known and ATF, to attempt to locate and apprehend aliens who had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to acquire tactical weapons training so that they would be able to carry out extremely violent bank robberies in the New York City area. These aliens were primarily from Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Belize. They shot quite a few people during their robberies that were carried out with commando-like precision.

The FBI Gang Assessment has a section devoted to the issue of gang members in the United States military. Please think about this the next time you hear about the DREAM Act. Here is a link to the segment of the report that addresses this specific threat:

Here is another segment from the index to the report:

Expansion of Ethnic-Based and Non-Traditional

– Gangs

– Asian Gangs

– East African Gangs

– Somali Gangs

– Sudanese Gangs

– Caribbean Gangs

– Dominican Gangs

– Haitian Gangs

– Jamaican Gangs

– Non-Traditional Gangs

– Hybrid Gangs

– Juggalos

You will notice that many of the gangs are from the four corners of the planet and some are from countries that are known as “Special Interest Countries.” As you may know, Special Interest Countries are those countries that are identified with the sponsorship of terrorism.. Furthermore, you should also know that often the people who are most at risk by these pernicious gangs are the members of the immigrant communities. Transnational gang members operate in two or more countries and can easily threaten to do harm to the family members of immigrants living in our country if they fail to do the bidding of these thugs. While open borders advocates often claim that those of us who want our borders made secure and our immigration laws enforced are “Anti-Immigrant” nothing could be further from the truth!

A number of governors and mayors are adamant about not having police officers under their jurisdiction cooperate with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). It is impossible to fathom how any mayor or governor such as Governor Cuomo of New York and other such “leaders” could be opposed to enforcing immigration laws, especially where aliens who have been arrested is concerned, but incredibly this is precisely what they are doing- opposing Secure Communities programs and vilifying the leaders of the states of Arizona, Alabama and other states where the leaders understand their oaths of office and legal as well as moral obligations to the people who live within their jurisdiction.

Consider this segment of the index in the FBI report:

Gangs and Corrections Issues

– Prison/Street Gang Connections

– Prison/Family Connection

– Communication

– Contraband Cell Phones

– Leadership

– Prison Radicalization

The bottom line is that the security of our nation and the lives of our citizens are on the line!

The immigration laws were passed to protect our nation and our citizens and the elections are just about one year away. It is time for our elected representatives to live up to their oaths of office and put the lives of our citizens and the survival of our nation ahead of their political agendas!

It is time for our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the purpose of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact. Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy which emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups.

It is therefore imperative that our fellow Americans make it crystal clear that they are not as dumb as the politicians from both parties had expected us to be!

We the People, must not be content to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

The Continuing Gang Threat

Michael Cutler
Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the '911 Families for a Secure America.' He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.