Commentary by Guy W. Farmer: Illegal immigrants and drug trade a scourge

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Appeal columnist Eugene Paslov seems to think that those of us who write about enforcing the nation's immigration laws are engaging in "xenophobic gibberish," whatever that is. He recently proposed to integrate 11 million illegal aliens "into our political and economic systems." In other words, he wants to legalize them with a blanket amnesty. What nonsense.

Not long ago my friend and fellow columnist Ty Cobb, Sr. pointed out that dangerous California-based Latino street gangs affiliated with Mexican drug cartels are now active in the Silver State. These ultra-violent cartels smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S., utilizing them as drug "mules." As an occasional court interpreter, I know that our jails and prisons are full of illegal drug mules.

Cobb quoted Nevada's former chief homeland security adviser, Larry Martines, a retired Los Angeles County deputy sheriff with excellent intelligence connections on both sides of the border, who confirmed that bloodthirsty gangs "have been established in our community for some time." After observing members of the Nortenos prison gang in Reno over the past two years, he spotted several members of the rival Surenos earlier this month. "Tourists?" he asked. "I think not."

"The main battle within Mexico is between cartels over control of turf and smuggling routes across Mexico into the U.S.," Martines wrote. "These routes include not only drugs, but illegal immigrants ... and cash for money-laundering." So the next time Dr. Paslov and his "progressive" friends tell us how sweet and harmless the illegals are, let's remind them about the recent arrests of eight illegal immigrants in Las Vegas in the biggest methamphetamine bust in Nevada history.

Those sweet, harmless drug traffickers were in possession of 208 pounds of meth with a street value of $5.7 million. Of course illegal immigration apologists and the ACLU immediately began hollering about the gang-bangers' alleged "rights." By contrast, it's worth noting that illegal immigrants don't have any rights in Mexico, where they're routinely beaten, abused and/or robbed by Mexican police and soldiers before being dumped back across the country's southern border with Guatemala or hassled on their way north to Gringolandia. Can you say "hypocrisy?"

Gang activity isn't limited to Las Vegas and Reno; in fact, District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Sheriff Ken Furlong have publicly and repeatedly stated that illegal immigrants are deeply involved in the Hispanic gangs that plague Carson City. Thanks to the Secure Communities Program, however, local law enforcement is able to keep track of the gang-bangers' criminal activities and arrest records, no matter where they occur. This federal program requires that local police check the immigration status of arrestees. And if you're concerned about profiling, don't worry because police check on all arrestees, not just Latinos.

Martines says Northern Nevada, on the heavily traveled I-80 corridor, "is a perfect transit hub for drug and illegal alien trafficking," and I agree, so let's cooperate with local law enforcement to rid our town of these foreign merchants of death and violence.

• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, writes frequently about the link between illegal immigration and drug trafficking.


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