Immigrant and transnational gangs represent a unique public safety threat to American communities, due to their unusually violent nature and their involvement in cross-border crimes such as drug and weapons trafficking, human smuggling, extortion and kidnapping. Immigration enforcement has played a key role in disrupting and dismantling certain gangs that have non-citizen, and especially illegal alien, members. ICE arrest data shows that such gangs are not confined to traditional immigrant gateway communities, but have sprouted all over the country, in urban, suburban and rural areas. Since 2005, ICE and its local law enforcement partners have arrested more than 30,000 gang members, leaders and associates. Violent gang members arrive from all over the globe, but ICE arrest data reflect that the most prolifically violent gangs that are the highest priority for enforcement have significant numbers of members from Central America and Mexico.
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985.
It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic,
fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.