UPDATE: Thanks to Helen (see her comments below) for pointing out a story in the Decatur Daily. A nursing mother has been arrested and separated from her 9-month-old baby because the authorities are looking for her brother.
Apparently local area police are really concerned about gang activity, especially in Hoover, Alabaster, and Pelham. They are cooperating with federal authorities and rounding up hispanics, focusing on those with tattoos. I wonder what this is really about. A search of Google and The Birmingham News archives turned up no reports of hispanic gangs operating in the Birmingham area. That doesn’t mean they aren’t here, but they haven’t done anything newsworthy.
The raids should send a message to people considering joining a gang, said Lt. Scott Tucker of the Pelham Police Department. He declined to comment about the specifics of the investigation but said Pelham officers and other law enforcement agencies are assisting the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement….
He said gangs are everywhere, including Shelby County, but there is not a large contingency there (emphasis mine). Pelham police officers have been trained to identify certain gang symbols and would take pictures of tattoos only in certain circumstances, such as when they thought the picture would assist a future investigation, Tucker said.
So why are police officers stopping cars and raiding homes and taking pictures of tattoos? Why are they splitting up families and sending the individual members off to different detention centers? This looks to me like a back-door immigration sweep. Just assume that all Latinos with tattoos are gang members and send them off to Etowah County for deportation.
I have a suggestion for the local police and the Feds. Stop taking the easy way out by targeting powerless people. America is a beacon to those who want an opportunity for a better life. I hope it always will be. If we really want to stop illegal immigration, the authorities need to go after the employers who are all too willing to hire cheap labor. Supply follows demand. Think about it.