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Commentary By Bob McManus

New York Is Safer Without Illegal-Immigrant Gangsters — No Thanks to the Mayor

Cities, Economics New York City, Immigration

Mara Salvatrucha, a k a MS-13, is a Central American-based gang best known for the bizarrely intricate tattoos worn by its members — and for killing people.

Especially for killing people.

So you’d think that when an illegal-immigrant MS-13 gang-banger turned up in NYPD custody, the de Blasio administration would quick as a wink deposit him with the feds.

Not so. New York is a sanctuary city — the mayor and City Council having embraced the contempt for law and custom that the term implies. So last week MS-13 stalwart Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez tap-danced away from Rikers Island following a short stint for disorderly conduct — never mind that immigration enforcement officials had requested that he be turned over to them.

“This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang,” Thomas Decker, field office director for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in New York, told Post reporters. “Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe.”

Ah, but in New York it certainly is about politics — the “we’re-above-the-law” sanctuary-city movement having devolved into another dreary vehicle for flipping the bird to President Trump.

Street gangs are nothing new to New York. But while classic gangs tended to avoid harm to innocents — children in particular — MS-13 targets them.

The gang has its roots in Salvadoran prison culture, but it has long since moved beyond that — first hiring out as drug-cartel enforcers and eventually moving into the trade itself. Its appetite for casual, seemingly pointless violence has placed it in a category all its own.

On Monday, 26-year-old gang member Michael Christopher Mejia — who sports both the trademark MS-13 face and neck tattoos and an appallingly long record of violent crime — was charged with the murder of one Whittier, Calif., cop and the wounding of another. Just hours earlier, police said, Mejia had murdered a relative.

At a glance, this seems like just another garden-variety — though tragic — crime spree. And it certainly is nothing out of the ordinary for southern California....

Read the entire piece here at the New York Post


Bob McManus is a contributing editor of City Journal. He retired as editorial page editor of the New York Post in 2013 and has since worked as a freelance editor, columnist, and writer.

This piece originally appeared in New York Post