Green Cards and Gangs

They come from Mexico for jobs by way of a document called a “green card”. Such immigrants are termed “legal permanent Residents” with many of the same rights as US citizens outlined here:http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/PermRes.htm

Today Siskiyou county Sheriff Rick Riggins and Captain Mike Murphy presented a slide show and details of Marijuana growing operations on federal forest land as a warning to residents of the dangers of happening across one of these farms. These operations are spearheaded by various Latino gangs, one being the powerful, well armed MS-13 gang that began in El Salvador. Sheriff Riggins stated that his biggest problem in combating this scourge is his office being labeled, “racist”.

On Sept. 11, 2004, one such farm was busted by the Sheriff with help from BLM and the forest service netting thousands of plants and several Mexicans who either held green cards or were awol from the Mexican military and in this country illegally. These raids are no simple task as the terrain is nearly insurmountable and usually remote, however one growing operation was within 2 miles of the city limits of Etna, California. Resources are limited in such small counties, with little help from federal officials, even though this organized criminal enterprise has been going on in these mountains for many years. Homeland Security says such operations are not their concern.

The gangs are back this year getting ready for next falls harvest to be distributed across the US. Their supplies and equipment will be brought in from the cities and deliveries to replenish them are undertaken at night every few weeks. The farms are guarded at all times.

Slides of the “camps” complete with a “hooch” for living were shown. Huge pits are dug, one big enough for an SUV, for garbage and waste. The trees are cut or skinned to pile “moats” around the farms to camouflage them. Black irrigation pipe is buried for miles to get water to the plants. The environment on our national lands is being degraded by these operations, destroying habitat and watershed purity.

We saw the AK-47’s, axes, shovels, a . 22 rifle with the name “ Los Pleves” scratched on the stock. We saw notebooks of the growers with markings of MS-13 and a drawing of a Lexus that one “immigrant” intended to buy with the drug profits.

Most of the farms appear to be run by the same organizations mostly through the Mexican Mafia year after year. Though a few are busted, a substantive dent has not been made and they know they can operate here more safely and profitably than in Mexico and there is no worry of getting the product back into the states.

Across the border in Oregon, the story is the same. The Sheriffs of Jackson, Josephine and Klamath County work together to find the farms and arrest the perpetrators. All have been Mexican so far, most with green cards. These same gangs also brew Methanphetimine to finance their organized crime activities during off season.

We do not need yet another “guest worker” program to supply dangerous gangs with recruits. We need to find out why these people were ever allowed in this country in the first place and how to keep more of them out.

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