Now that the “comprehensive immigration reform” bill has suffered what many hope is a fatal and final blow, there’s time available to examine some of the provisions of that ill-fated measure – a simple exercise that many in Congress obviously failed to do. Amid all the bloviating on Capitol Hill, a frightening provision of the bill was never brought to light. It’s Section 601, stating that gang members are eligible for amnesty if they sign an affidavit repudiating their gang membership!

That’s right folks – there are thousands of illegal immigrant gang members here in the U.S. and many more crossing the border each week. Not only are they the most undesirable of the undesirables, our elected officials in Washington have decided that they too are welcome to join the “huddled masses” so long as they put in writing that they will be good boys and girls henceforth.

It may surprise you to know that not just Mexicans are streaming across the border with impunity. Many illegals are from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and other Central American countries. It is El Salvador that has the distinction of providing the United States with one of the most dangerous criminal gangs, Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. According to Newsweek magazine, there are as many as 10,000 MS-13 gang members in 33 states in the U.S. They have even established a stronghold in the shadow of the White House, in nearby Fairfax County Virginia and other upscale jurisdictions in the suburbs of Washington, D.C..

Not long ago, MS-13 members, using their favorite weapons, machetes, clashed with a rival gang in Alexandria, Virginia. Before it was over, enemy group members were left with fingers missing and one victim with a hand dangling by only a piece of skin after being whacked with one of the large knives, designed for cutting sugar cane. In addition to machetes, MS-13 members are not above using traditional weapons such as handguns when a particular violent scenario calls for them.

Newsweek also mentions the fate of a young woman who informed against her former Mara Salvatrucha associates…she was found dead on the banks of a river with her head nearly severed. So violent is the code of MS-13, that the FBI has declared the gang as “the top priority of the bureau’s criminal-enterprise branch.” These gang members and others like them are the same individuals that Section 601 of the recent immigration/amnesty bill welcomes with open arms – so long as they sign a sheet of paper saying they will be good boys and girls, now that they are inside the borders of the good old USA.By focusing on this one cockeyed provision of the immigration bill, it’s easy to see how dangerous and ill-advised such backroom deal-making that produced the bill has become. Not only is it a fatally flawed measure that didn’t pass, and won’t pass in the future, it has seriously further weakened the presidency at a time when one more minus percentage point in President Bush’s popularity standing could decide the 2008 election months ahead of time. Yet Bush continues to urge passage of this problematical compromise plan.

Knowingly importing vicious gang members from Central America “is not a rosy prognosis for America’s multicultural future,” writes Heather MacDonald in City Journal. School attendance for such immigrants is a joke, notes MacDonald, with “students” merely milling around outside the school and, worse, dismantling the educational environment for those who would prefer to study and learn. Hispanic youths in many of the major cities, such as Los Angeles, are developing an underclass culture. “Hispanic school dropout rates and teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation,” notes MacDonald. Gang crime is exploding nationally – by 50 percent or more – driven by the march of Hispanic immigration east and north across the country. MacDonald tells of gang fights in some of L.A.’s regular high schools drawing such crowds that youthful pickpockets have a field day working the spectators and participants. Wallets, pagers, and cell phone are favorite targets.

Much of the gang-related activity is spawned by the same undocumented Salvadorans and Central Americans who are engaging in a mixed bag of crimes, from extortion and drug trafficking, to wide-scale auto thefts and random violence. The FBI believes that MS-13 is trying to establish a national command structure, emulating the model in El Salvador. But while the FBI is busy tracking gang movements and sorting through and prioritizing information, our friends on Capitol Hill are scribbling away on paper, trying to invent free entryways for the very criminals the FBI is spending millions to arrest and imprison or deport.

As for the outrageous Section 601 that invites illegal alien criminals to stay in the U.S., no one is more perplexed than Ira Mehlman of The Federation for American Immigration Reform. “It boggles the mind that someone thought this [Section 601] was worth putting in there. There is no rational, logical explanation for it.” Representative Brian Bilbray, (R. – Calif.) agrees: “No one can make the case that we are making our borders more secure by giving amnesty to gang members.”

We know that America’s current immigration policy is not working. Politicians and most Americans concur that we don’t want millions of people living outside the law in an underground economy, especially when one considers the multiple security risks existing in these uncertain times. Why, on earth then, did our politicians craft an immigration bill that openly gives amnesty to some of the most intractable and depraved of the illegal aliens? The search continues for common sense on Capitol Hill.

– Chase.Hamil

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