Gang Crackdowns Have Increased Arrests, Deportations of Latino, Immigrant Youth: Study

Law enforcement is given the authority to add individuals to gang databases when this type of affiliation is alleged, and it could hurt their immigration status, according to the study

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Jonathan Rios

A new study has found that law enforcement methods for establishing “gang affiliation” in an effort to crack down on alleged MS-13 gang members has increased the arrest, detention and deportation of young immigrants in New York, regardless of proven criminal activity, NBC News reported.

“Swept Up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers,” a report authored by the New York Immigration Coalition and the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic at the CUNY School of Law, details the methods law enforcement uses to profile immigrant youth of color by establishing gang affiliation. Law enforcement is given the authority to add individuals to gang databases when this type of affiliation is alleged, and it could hurt their immigration status.

“It’s not a crime to be a gang member,” said Babe Howell, a professor at the CUNY School of Law. “What we’re seeing is an addiction to policing based on profiling and stereotyping people, instead of focusing on evidence — on people that have actually done something" criminal.

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