Border Patrol: Violent Gang Members Recruiting Among Immigrants

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 12:47 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Border Patrol sources say violent MS-13 gang members are recruiting new gang members through the processing center in Nogales, Ariz. after coming into the United States as part of the thousands of young migrants arriving from Central America.

"The National Border Patrol Council believes there to be serious security issues at the Nogales Processing Center," National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran told Townhall

"Agents' hands are tied due to the policies governing the care and lodging of juveniles and this has allowed gang recruitment and activity to flourish amongst those being detained. Customs and Border Protection needs to do more to ensure that gang members that are in custody at the NPC are identified, prosecuted, and prohibited from benefiting from this crisis."

Reportedly, the gang members are using phone banks the Red Cross has set up so minors can call family members to communicate with other MS-13 members in cities such as Atlanta, New York, and Chicago.

Teenaged boys inside the facility have also told Border Patrol agents that gang members are trying to recruit them from within the cells.

According to an internal Border Patrol summary, at least 16 of the gang members have been confirmed as being housed in the Nogales processing center, and grafitti has been discovered on the center's walls.

According to the FBI, gang members members engage in a wide range of violent criminal activity, including "drug distribution, murder, rape, prostitution, robbery, home invasions, immigration offenses, kidnapping, carjackings/auto thefts, and vandalism."

Members are generally Salvadoran nationals or first generation Salvadoran-Americans, reports the FBI, but also include Hondurans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other Central and South American immigrants.

Ironically, many of the young migrants heading to the United States from Honduras and other countries are fleeing gang violence that may have had its beginnings in this country, reports The Daily Beast.

Many of the gang members in the Central American countries were deported there from the United States after being swept up in arrests of gangs rising from the streets of Los Angeles.

Actually, there are at least two gangs that have come into play from the Los Angeles streets. The MS-13 gang, short for Mara Salvatrucha, was formed by El Salvadoran refugees during the 1980s and eventually grew to include members throughout Central America. Another gang, the 18th Street Gang, or M-18, was born in the Ramparts section of Los Angeles, and was nicknamed The Children's Army, as it recruits even elementary school children.

Initially, only gang members convicted of serious crimes were deported, but after 1996, members of either gang only needed to be arrested for a minor crime to be sent back to Central America.

Eventually, between 2001 and 2010, some 129,760 gang members were returned to Central America, where they became the seeds of the gangs young migrants from that region are fleeing, The Daily Beast reports.

Meanwhile, Nogales isn't the only place the MS-13 gang members are appearing, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Fox News.

"This is very, very dangerous," said Abbott, arguing that President Barack Obama "is causing imminent harm and danger to the people of this country."

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