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As Long as We Remember...

July 28, 2014

Pro-Active Policy Needed Along The Border

Jill King

Less than a week ago, Suitland, Maryland, police arrested six illegal immigrants who were admittedly Mara Salvatrucha, otherwise known as MS-13 gang members. The Hyattsville Patch and InfoWars report that those arrested beat and stabbed a homeless man to death after an argument with a 17-year-old female.


A Los Angeles Times report from 2005 tells of a surge in Northern Virginia, then in Maryland where:


"Today, there are at least 5,000 in the greater Washington area, including about 1,000 members in Maryland's Prince George's County, authorities say. That's more than twice recent estimates of MS-13's membership in Los Angeles County."


Maryland has a strong history of attracting gangs from Central American countries and is the home of two sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. Silver Spring and Baltimore are just a short train ride – or less than an hour – from Frederick, where it is known that we have the second toughest sheriff on illegal immigration.


Officials in El Salvador blame the U.S. for their policies on deportation, when it comes to the gang violence in their countries. We have also seen those deported return through the revolving border doors numerous times.


Pew Research Center through the use of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has presented that unaccompanied minors crossing the border reached 46,932 persons from October 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014. U.S. Customs and border protection records trumped that number, raising it to 57,525 this fiscal year.


Poverty, gangs and drug trafficking rates in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico are cited for the influx in teens rushing the border. The largest surge is that of teens, according to Pew's reports.


"Among all countries, less than 1% (94 cases) of apprehended unaccompanied children is younger than 1, and only about 2% (785) are 5 or younger, according to data for the current fiscal year. Children ages 6 to 12 accounted for 14% (6,675) apprehensions. The U.S. categorizes children as “unaccompanied” if they are not traveling with a parent or guardian, although they may have traveled with another relative."


This alone makes it questionable whether the media is reporting this in layman's terms, due to incomplete definitions. We have seen this locally questioned when it comes to defining "homelessness." There are similarities since those traveling without a parent or guardian, yet another family member or friend are counted as unaccompanied.


This issue is extremely complex and seems so far away, yet it creeps into Marylanders and is quantified in the increase of drug abuse as well as gang violence. Our current heroin issues directly correlate to the lax borders and drug trafficking through our southern borders.


Locally, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has raised his share of eyebrows by accepting Federation of Immigration Reform's (FAIR) invitation to analyze the problems existing at the border and assess – from a law enforcement official's expertise – what measures could be taken in Frederick County to mitigate what should be accomplished at the border.


In the past, Frederick has seen its own crises from gangs from foreign lands. Many speculate that we don't have an issue, although knowing that Frederick County will not accept gang-ridden streets and controls may be what keep our county safe from large factions locating here. Unfortunately, what we do see is the rise in drug use and other symptoms that the border is closer than we think.


While the federal government plays partisan politics, creating no viable solutions, it is important for Frederick County's future to honor its no-tolerance stance.


While people are empathetic to foreign children and the issues they confront, we have children here who lack parenting, stability, food, shelter, and who have an even more dismal economic future than what we have now.


While all of these children are seeking a better life, culture will still pull a number of them into the gang lifestyles that exist here and increase the numbers of groups within our borders. With the surge of illegal immigrants crossing our border not all of which are detained, numerous drug and human traffickers, weapons, and criminals are making their way to Frederick County.


The dangers we face are due to a failed immigration policy and enforcement from existing law. I put more trust in Sheriff Jenkins' resolution to the immigration issue based on his firsthand knowledge than I do the opinions of the many spectators and media outlets.


Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with the past...


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