ICE Fails To Note Citizenship Status of Notorious MS-13 Gang Members

I just came upon a pair of news release that the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) posted on their websites on June 15th and June 16th, respectively.

I have provided you with copies of those important news releases.

The news article reports on the successful prosecution of members of ten members of MS-13 (La Mara Salvatrucha), a particularly violent transnational street gang whose members are generally citizens of a number of Latin American countries including, most predominantly, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. There are native born American citizens who have also become involved with MS-13 but the news release focused on the transnational nature of these individuals and it must therefore be presumed that at least some of those arrested are aliens.

The valiant efforts of all of the law enforcement officers who hit the street and made the arrests, going in harm’s way on behalf of all of us and removing from our midst some truly dangerous and extremely violent criminals are truly commendable as are the efforts of the prosecutors who worked closely with these law enforcement officers.

But while I laud the efforts of these professionals, I find it hard to understand how the lead federal agency that is responsible for the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws could fail to even note the citizenship of individuals who were arrested and convicted of felonies including the horrific murder of a young mother and her two year old child and were identified as being members of a transnational gang (MS-13) but failed to even note that these criminals were aliens.

In writing a story or a report about an event the questions of who, what, where, why, when and how must be answered. Yet a news release issued by ICE failed to address the immigration status and citizenship of members of a transnational gang.

This failure to note the citizenship or immigration status of members of transnational gangs or criminal organizations is not an isolated omission but is often left out of news releases issued by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and, in fact, this aversion to dealing with immigration can also be clearly seen when you consider that ICE has created a division, HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) so that the word “Immigration” has now joined the term “alien,” as terms to be eliminated from many reports altogether!

George Orwell’s “Newspeak” is alive and well and has taken up residence in our own government!

Let’s go back to the news release and one of the crimes noted in the news release, the horrific crimes of the murders of a young woman and her very young child by a member of MS-13, Rene Mendez Mejia, aka, Zorro, who was, at the time of the murder all of 17 year old, himself.

The victims of this double murder, Vanessa Argueta and her son, Diego Torres were members of the Latino community. This goes back to the point I have repeatedly made about the dangers posed by members of transnational criminal organizations and gangs, the people who are often most at risk are members of the immigrant communities who are of the same ethnicity and origins as are these criminal aliens. It is hardly “anti-immigrant” to want to prevent the entry of criminal aliens into our country.

Preventing the entry of such criminals would have the greatest positive impact on the immigrant communities.

Because the ICE new release did not discuss the circumstances of this senseless and terrible crime, I searched out a Daily News article that was published shortly after the crime was committed and I have provided you with that news report. Here is how that murder, according to this news report, occurred:

Authorities said Argueta was shot first. As the little boy began crying and ran to her, he was shot twice in the head.

The killings were sparked by a falling-out between Argueta and her ex-boyfriend, an MS-13 member who also participated in the double homicide.

As you read the Daily News article please check out the links contained in that article that provide additional important and disturbing information about how member of MS-13 had put out a “contract” on the life of an ICE agent and other such stories.

As or the double cold-blooded murder of Vanessa Argueta and her baby Diego Torres, it is difficult to imagine a more horrific crime- a young mother is shot to death and then as her baby, all of two years of age, runs screaming toward his mother, he himself is shot twice in the head! Both were intentionally executed!

Gangs are a societal cancer!

No one wins in these cases. What Mejia did is violent and incomprehensible beyond mere words. He belongs in jail for as long as he breaths! However, imagine what his life might have been had he not gotten caught up in MS-13 a particularly pernicious and violent transnational gang. Our nation’s failures to secure its borders and enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States have enabled MS-13, the Mexican cartels and many other transnational gangs to move their members to the United States where they recruit more members, often young teenagers.

The cost in terms of human suffering is inestimable. Think of how many people lose their lives to such senseless street crime. Think of the ramifications these deaths have on the family members and friends of the victims of these crimes.

Consider the economic price to be paid. The cost of medical treatment for the victims of violence. The cost of law enforcement to hunt down the criminals, the costs associated with the criminal justice system, the costs associated for the incarceration of many thousands of criminals who never should have gotten into our country in the first place.

The Secure Communities program is supposed to focus on the identification of aliens involved in criminal activities in the United States and, incredibly, politicians such as New York’s Governor Cuomo apparently are more concerned with issuing press releases and currying favor with special interest groups than he is with fulfilling what is arguably the most important component of his gubernatorial obligations- to provide for the security and safety of all who live, work and visit the state over which he presides!

In point of fact, the so-called special interest groups who have squealed about the apprehension of illegal aliens in the United States are also not being honest with those they claim to be looking out for. These groups will never, ever demand the removal of any deportable alien no matter how serious a threat that individual may pose to the immigrant community. This is all about playing the “race card,” claiming that anyone who wants our nation’s immigration laws enforced is a bigot.

Is it a position of bigotry to want to prevent the entry of violent transnational criminals from entering the United States?

Is it a position of bigotry or racism to want to make certain that if and when such alien thugs are released from prison upon the completion of jail sentences imposed after they were convicted of felonies that they be sent back to the countries they came from?

You must also remember that these laws apply equally to all individuals irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity.

Our nation’s immigration laws make absolutely no distinctions about people where race, religion or ethnicity are concerned. The only distinction is between people who are citizens of the United States and those who are not and who, under our laws, are referred to as “Aliens.”

Indeed, the term “Alien” is defined under our laws as simply being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. This definition is completely compatible and comparable to similar terms used by virtually every other country on this planet to describe people who are present in those countries but are not citizens of those countries.

The biggest problem with the term “Alien” from the perspective of the open borders advocates, is that this term provides something they attempt to avoid in any way and every way possible- clarity!

Here are a couple of links to the websites that explain the “Secure Communities” program from which Governor Cuomo has, at least for now, withdrawn the State of New York:

I have taken issue with much of how DHS has not done enough to effectively enforce our nation’s immigration laws and secure our nation’s borders but I am a supporter of Secure Communities.

Here is something else to consider: criminal aliens have two advantages over American criminals. They can easily flee from the United States when they believe that law enforcement authorities are coming after them and they can threaten to do harm to the family members of members of the immigrant communities if these immigrants dare speak with the police or refuse to aid these criminals and are coerced into committing crimes at the behest of these criminals.

Title 8, United States Code section 212 is section of law that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found here:

Here is a link to that section of law:

Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations. Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country and are supposed to be removed if they manage to evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States.

Not long ago I wrote a commentary that was predicated on a New Release issued by ICE.

Here is the link to that news release:

Here is an important set of statistics provided in that news release:

“Between Oct. 1, 2010 and April 30,2011, ICE returned to their countries of origin more than 215,900 aliens, including 109,700 aliens with criminal convictions. Of those, 585 were convicted of homicide, 3,177 were convicted sex offenders, and 24,593 were convicted of serious drug offenses.”

In the excellent film, “A Few Good Men” the Jack Nicholson character famously remarks from the witness stand at the court martial, “You can’t handle the truth!

The same can be said of many of our politicians! They refuse to accept the reality of the necessity of the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws and the absolute necessity to secure our borders from the unlawful entry of aliens into our country who evade the inspections process for a number of reasons including the fact that a significant number of them are members of violent gangs, are fugitives from justice in other countries, or have been convicted of various crimes.

What is worse, is that these politicians would rather you didn’t know the truth either!

If the politicians wonder why they have fallen into such disrepute by the great majority of our citizens then they need to understand that most Americans are finally “on to them!”

Americans now understand that all too many politicians are willing to sacrifice community safety and, hence, human lives, in pursuit of campaign contributions. For these politicians, the securing of money is more important that the securing of communities against the violence and threats posed by transnational criminals and terrorists.

As President Abraham Lincoln once sagely observed: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Notwithstanding the false assertions by the open borders advocates, the most pro-immigrant action our government can take is to enforce our nation’s immigration laws!

Our nation admits more than 1.1 million lawful immigrants each and every year. These foreign nationals are placed on a pathway to United States citizenship on the day that they are issued their Alien Registration Receipt Cards (Green Cards). This system lacks integrity and this highly worrisome flaw needs to be addressed, but the point is that our nation continues to welcome more lawful immigrants each and every year than does any other country on the entire planet!

I would remind you that the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burlgar!

The effective enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are, arguably, among the most important of all missions that are supposed to be carried out by our federal government.

Nothing less than the security of our nation and safety of our citizens hang in the balance!

Indeed, our nation’s continuing failures to secure its borders and create an immigration system that poses real integrity also threatens the safety and security of our allies as well!

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

I f 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.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has 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. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!

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 this situation 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!

This summer, on Friday afternoons from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time I will be filling in for Tom Garcia as the host on The USA Talk Radio Network’s excellent radio show, “The American Hour.”

I hope you will be listening!

Here is the link for this program:

MS-13 gang members plead guilty to murder and racketeering

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.