Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Targeting Smugglers Won’t Stop Immigration, Says “Coyote”

A number of different proposals have been announced by politicos in order to control the recent influx of undocumented minors into the U.S. but are any of these plans effective? Probably not according to one human trafficker. 

“It’s a lie to believe that capturing the ‘coyotes’ will stop immigration” into the U.S., claimed a Honduran migrant smuggler who was recently interviewed in that country’s El Heraldo newspaper.  According to the “coyote”, strengthening border operations in countries such as the U.S. or Mexico wouldn’t work since some migrants allegedly opt to make the trek northward alone or in groups without the help of traffickers like him.

Nevertheless, he admitted that migrants who rely on “coyotes” as part of their journeys benefit from having a guide that knows different routes to take and has contacts who could help them out along the trek from sympathetic motel owners to bribed police officers.  Migrants going alone, according to the interviewee, run the risk of being assaulted by criminals or drug gangs and using unreliable modes of transportation such as riding on the dangerous northbound Mexican freight train network known as “La Bestia.” (The “coyote” instead opts for travelling through Mexico with his clients on the ground via bus).

He also confessed that he and his cohorts sometimes have to abandon adult migrants when, for example, they emerge from hiding in safe houses or are unable to endure the four-day trek through desert conditions. Children are carried in shifts by the group and are not left behind, the “coyote” said, though some of them opt for capture by the Border Patrol and are interrogated.

Nearly 192 “coyotes” and their associates were captured as part of an ongoing U.S. government operation aimed at disrupting smuggling operations in Texas.  Yet the trafficker interviewed in El Heraldo mentioned that there is a better solution to stem the influx of undocumented immigrants from Central America:

 “The only way to minimize the problem for adults and children is to create jobs throughout the (Central American) zone.  For most people and families, they take the risk to migrate because they cannot find any opportunities for employment.  Here they suffer”, he added.
According to a 2010 United Nations report cited by the AP, “coyotes” generate an estimated $6.6 billion yearly as part of their “high-risk, often high-yield business.”  The huge drop in Mexicans crossing the border in recent years has led “coyotes” to seek more business from Central America.  This could account for the estimated 57,000 unaccompanied minors mostly from that region captured by the Border Patrol between October 2013 and June 2014.

Video Source – YouTube user GUARDIAN World

Online Sources – Washington Post; KYTX; The Huffington Post; El Heraldo;; NBC News

No comments: