Not all Latinos are gang members

February 26, 2013 

According to the National Gang Center and recent figures from law enforcement, Hispanics/Latinos make up 50 percent of gang members in the United States. But Hispanic/Latino does not automatically mean "from Mexico."

One letter writer ("Deport illegal immigrant gangsters," Feb. 15) wrote that after taking all illegal immigrants far into Mexico, we will only be left with a "few" gang members.

I wonder how the writer came up with that plan. Was it after reading the names of the three alleged gang members arrested and charged in the murder of Tylor Crippen? I hope not.

My maiden name is Rodriguez, like another recent gang member murder suspect. I was an Army brat, born in Germany. My parents were born in the United States and three of my four grandparents were born in this country. My husband's family is not illegal either. I know gang membership in the Hispanic/Latino community is a huge problem. It makes me sad that someone will look at my children and think "illegal" or "gang member," when they are some of the most responsible, respectful kids you could ever meet.

I hope the letter writer and others who feel that way will volunteer in the community and encourage kids to know that gangs aren't the way.

D.M. GARCIA

Empire

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