This type of story, to some, may only represent a “win” for law enforcement and the battle against “illegal” immigration, but to me it’s a story illustrating the terror of being “escorted” from Mexico to the United States. For those that constantly dress migrants as terrible people just put yourselves in their shoes for a moment. Why would they go through the things mentioned in this article to come to the United States? Who do you think is in control when these migrants are being brought over by smugglers?
I recently watched the movie “Trade” with Kevin Kline where girls are conned into traveling into the U.S. through Mexico and other girls are simply stolen off the streets of Mexico. The objective of these human traffickers is to sell the girls as sex slaves to the highest bidder. There is another movie from a few years ago called “Human Trafficking” on this subject as well. These stories, based on reality, are a very disturbing view into the world of human trafficking. Though these movies are more focused on forced trafficking I can’t imagine that anyone seeking assistance into this country does so lightly. I’ve never been hidden in a vehicle fearing for my life and I can’t imagine what that must feel like so I’m certainly not going to condone others taking out their frustrations on these migrants.
Police: Immigrant Smuggling Ring Busted
By JACQUES BILLEAUD
February 15, 2008
PHOENIX (AP) — Forty-eight people accused of taking part in an immigrant trafficking ring have been indicted on human smuggling and money laundering charges, authorities said.
The group brought in as much as $130,000 a week moving people from Naco, Mexico, to its center of operations in Phoenix and then to destinations across the United States, Phoenix police Lt. Vince Piano said Thursday.
As we see from the next quote migrants using these smugglers must worry about being kidnapped by rival smugglers. They are also held until they can pay for being brought into the country. Why would somebody put themselves through this? It’s certainly not in an attempt to scoff at U.S. laws. They are obviously very desperate to come here and are willing to risks their safety and lives to do so. Truly very few of us have had to make such a tough decision or have been in that type of situation.
The investigation led to the discovery of 13 “drop houses” in Phoenix where human smugglers hold customers until they pay up and are sent to their final destinations. The area is believed to have about 1,000 drop houses.
Drivers were paid to bring the immigrants by van to Phoenix, and other drivers were used to spot law enforcement vehicles and protect rival smugglers from forcing them off the road in an attempt to kidnap and extort their customers, he said.
Here’s a post where I wrote about this before.