Iowans get exotic treat: Central American gangs

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (link) The Midwest seems an unlikely hideout for Osama bin Laden's hired hands. But an ongoing federal crackdown shows an increasing presence of a violent gang with suspected links to al-Qaida. The gang, M-S-13, was founded in El Salvador and is known for smuggling drugs and immigrants into the U-S. [...and there's a possible terrorism connection...]

Iowa was part of nationwide sweep of gang members last month in "Operation Community Shield." At least ten M-S-13 members were arrested in Marshalltown, Perry and Des Moines.

Marshalltown is home to a meatpacking plant that in the last decade has drawn Hispanics seeking work. Police Chief Lon Walker says that growing population is a draw for M-S-13 members looking to "hide and operate."

Walker was one of five police chiefs who met in Washington last month to talk with homeland security officials about the crackdown on M-S-13 and other gangs. He says it should be a concern because of the terrorist situation.
From this sociology article (link):
Marshalltown hosts a Swift pork packing plant that employs about 900 Mexican workers, and Villachuato supplies more than half of these employees. The plant would shut down without a continued supply of workers from this community-documented and undocumented-and the workers, their families, and their home town would suffer without the plant.
And, from "Meatpacking industry brings change to Iowa town" (link):
Swift and Company - a predecessor to Dakota Pork Industries in Huron - "has always been here," said Ken Anderson, president of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce for the past 12 years.

"Meatpacking has been here for 100 years," he said. With the local labor market tapped, Swift, which processes more than 15,000 hogs a day, began reaching out to Hispanics and members of other ethnic groups. Marshalltown's 1990 census showed less than 300 Latinos in the community. But the latest count in 2000 indicates there are now more than 3,200...

In the late 1990s, Gov. Tom Vilsack announced he would select three Iowa cities to be model communities. He provided state resources to help them develop models for the state on how to deal with rapidly changing demographic profiles.

The governor picked Marshalltown, Fort Dodge and Mason City...
Here's more information on Iowa's problems [1].

And, you might not believe that one person could be wrong on so many things, but there's actually a Tamar Jacoby connection. From a letter discussing one of her articles:
[She] claims that the meatpacking industry in the Midwest would have collapsed without an influx of illegal alien workers.
The cure for these problems is simple, albeit very difficult to implement: start charging those responsible for the problems they cause. If you don't want a super-violent Central American paramilitary gang relocating to rural Iowa, demand that the BICE start conducting sweeps of the workers at the Swift meatpacking plant. And, the local officials should start cracking down on the plant before their community goes down the drain. And, the residents of Iowa should start a recall of Tom Vilsack. ------------- [1] Was a link to fairus . org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_researchefac, page has disappeared.


Beck's article about what happened to Wausau, WI is also a classic.

Well, clearly what's needed is a program to educate Iowans about all the advantages of large-scale Hispanic immigration, uncontrolled illegal immigration included, one of these advantages being a feeling of moral superiority gotten from being gracious to the newcomers, whether invited or uninvited; this should clear up any worries that may have cropped up should Iowans have, per chance, had the rude temerity to actually notice the problems associated with all of that. They can start by reading this thread.

Although his testimony was 6 years ago, Roy Beck is probably the most eloquent speaker on this subject.