Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Angle pulls out the racist card

This is the very ugly, very racist tirade of Sharron Angle the so-called Tea Party candidate in Nevada. Any libertarian who is still defending this disgusting movement has either not been paying attention or is brain dead. The Tea Party is anti-liberty. They are bigoted against immigrants and gays and are actually worse on social liberty than your normal Republican. Surveys show that the Tea Party is mainly the most reactionary element of the Republican Party.

Angle, who is also a staunch anti-gay bigot, of course, claims that "waves" of Mexicans are coming to America. Actually immigration flows are way down because these people came looking for jobs and when jobs dry up they go back. But in Angle's fevered, bigoted, little brain these people are not coming to America for work but for the explicit purpose of "joining violent gangs, forcing families to live in fear."

Is this true? Are millions of Mexicans flocking to America to join gangs? For answer I turned to the National Gang Threat Assessment published by the FBI and various police agencies who deal with gangs.

The first problem with Angle's slander against Mexicans is that millions of them can't be joining gangs. The NGTA report indicates that the total number of gang members in the US, of all races and nationalities tops out at 1 million. And of these over 100,000 are in prison. So Angle's estimate of illegal immigrants in gangs exceeds the total number of all gang members in the country

So Angle's main claim is impossible. Another problem is indicated when we look at which regions of the country report gang activity. In the Southwest, where most illegals come into the country, 63% of law enforcement report gang activity. This is lower than the Southeast region, or the Bible-belt where 68% report gang activity. The national average is 58% so the region with the most Mexicans is barely above the average. For instance the region include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming came in at 58%, yet this is not a region known for having large numbers of illegal immigrants.

We should also look at what fueled the rise in gang numbers in the US, and it wasn't immigration, legal or otherwise. It is the war on drugs that creates massive profit opportunities for gangs to deal in drugs. The report notes:
During the 1980s, gangs that engaged in drug
trafficking in major cities began to expand their
drug distribution networks into suburban communities
influenced by local gangs. The larger
gangs controlled drug distribution in city drug
markets; they were motivated to move into adjoining
communities to generate additional income
by capitalizing on burgeoning powder cocaine and
crack cocaine abuse. Large urban gangs generated
millions of dollars from trafficking illicit drugs in
urban and suburban areas; this income enabled the
gangs to recruit new members and to force smaller
local gangs to either disband or align with them,
thereby increasing their dominance. To enhance
profits from drug trafficking and other crimes, large
urban gangs also deployed members to locate new
drug markets throughout the country, including in
suburban and rural communities. As various gangs
attempted to expand nationally, they often were
met with initial resistance by local gangs. This resistance
resulted in an increased number of homicides
and drive-by shootings in suburban communities.
Gangs expanded in the US during the last few decades for the same reason that the Mob expanded during Prohibition. Government stupidity pushes up the profits in offering an illegal substance that are desired, rightly or wrongly, by a large percentage of Americans. The profits are artificially high because the drugs are illegal. Given the violent nature of the drug warriors themselves it makes sense that over time more and more of the distribution of drugs will be handled by individuals who are just as violent, if not more so, than the police agents who enforce this law.

Gang members who do migrate illegally to the US do so to take advantage of the drug trade or because they work with the drug cartels who have been created by the prohibition of drugs. But there is no evidence that a significant number of undocumented workers in the country are here for gang activities. Drug prohibition is the main source of gang income. According to NGTA: "Gangs earn the profits essential to maintaining their criminal operations and the lifestyles of their members primarily through drug distribution." However, the crack down on the border has pushed many gangs into the people smuggling business. As usual prohibition fuels criminal enterprises.

Since millions of illegal immigrants are NOT fueling gangs how many are involved? Here is an estimate based on the NTGA estimates of the major gangs with Hispanic members, not all of whom would be illegal:

18th Street Gang: 24,o00 to 40,000 members who are assumed illegals.
Almight Latin King: Has 20,000 to 35,000 members but is open to "individuals of any nationality." No mention of significant illegal immigrant membership.
Florencia 13: about 3,000 not all of whom are illegal.
Fresno Bulldogs: 5,000 to 6,000 not all of whom are illegal.
Sureños and Norteños: No membership figures but these are gang members from other gangs that are numbered. These are members of other gangs imprisoned and working in the prisons. So these figures are included in other figures.
Tango Blast: Formed by Hispanic men in prison as protection against other gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood.
Barrio Azteca: around 2,000 many illegals not all.
Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos: around 1,000.
Mexikanemi: around 2,000 members.
Mexican Mafia: about 200 members.
Neta: Hispanic but mainly Puerto Rican not Mexican.

That is a list of the major gangs that are listed in the report which have Hispanic memberships of any significance mentioned. Their totals are around 90,000 or so and not all of them are illegal.
Many were actually born in the United States.

The gangs in America certainly are growing and as long as the drug warriors have their way these gangs will get bigger and bigger and more and more violent. Violent drug warriors encourage increasing violent drug dealers. The war on drugs won't stifle the demand for drugs and as long as demand remains high the drug war will offer massive profits to anyone willing to take on the cops. And who is willing to take on the cops: violent gangs.

Add into this mix the new profits being offered because of the border crackdown and the federal government is literally handing millions in artificially high profits to the gangs. Now, will Angle do anything to help encourage "legal" immigration or to end the war on drugs? No, just the opposite. It is Angle and people like her who are creating the very conditions that fuel the gangs.

Labels: , , ,