CNN reports on what looks like a nationwide effort to crack down on transnational gangs like MS-13:
The Bloods, Crips, Disciples and an increasingly popular street gang known as MS-13 were among the gangs targeted in a Department of Homeland Security operation over the past two weeks that yielded 375 arrests of wanted members in 23 states, the department announced Friday.
What makes Operation Community Shield different from other crackdowns is that federal authorities for the first time are using immigration and customs authorities in an attempt to dismantle what they call “transnational, violent street gangs,” according to DHS.
That’s great. But I must have missed the memo: When did Homeland Security become responsible for gangs? CNN quotes Michael Chertoff:
In a news conference Friday, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff compared fighting gang violence to fighting terrorism.
I guess you can compare hurricanes to terrorism, too; DHS is now responsible for everything from hurricanes to gangs. Aggregating more and more responsibilities into bigger and bigger bureaucracies is not exactly the wave of the future.
UPDATE: Dafydd ab Hugh and Austin Bay have written to say that gangs like MS-13 do indeed have terrorist connections and homeland security implications. That point, I think, is well taken. Nevertheless, I wonder whether it makes any sense for an overarching agency like HSA to be responsible for everything from hurricanes to the Crips.