- Darius Brooks
- BBC News World
At the U.S.-Mexico border, there is a price for every immigrant smuggler.
Those with limited resources are forced to make the perilous journey Riding in freight trucks to travel hundreds of miles In an inhumane condition.
Unfortunately, in some cases that kind of journey – many hours, No space, no ventilation One Water– More than 50 immigrants died in the trailer’s box there, leading them to their deaths, as happened this Monday near San Antonio, Texas.
“There is a whole chain in the dynamics and economy of immigration trafficking. The people who travel this way [en camiones] This is exactly what the kidnappers are asking for, “said Gabriella Sanchez, a researcher at the Border Trafficking and Educator at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
On the other hand, there are immigrants who pay large sums of money to secure transportation into the United States, such as using someone else’s legal border crossing ID.
But in recent months, the frustration of many on the border,Stuck In Mexico Cashless By The Restricted policies Promoted by the US government in the wake of the epidemic, led them A Take risks like never before.
“It’s a direct result of policies that make travel longer, harder or more expensive. Are ready To dieBecause death to them in any way The Chasing“
Truck lane and so on
Sanchez says he will spend “all day” explaining the many methods immigrants and kidnappers use to cross the border.
But the pattern of trucks full of men, women and even children is the same “Coyotes” or “Pollaros”Due to undetectable probability.
The truth is, the border between Mexico and the United States is a zone Too much freight. Through the various official shortcuts and highways in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Trucks are increasingly coming around.
“Every day thousands of people [autoridad migratoria de EE.UU.] It’s not fitted, nor is it its job to inspect all vehicles, ”Sanchez explains.
“That’s why smugglers rely so heavily on these types of vehicles. Because they know that the probability of them being tested is very low“, Collaboration.
And smugglers make more profit by taking more people on the same trip.
“There is a clear link between people who travel more safely and the money they have to cover the cost,” Sanchez says.
Used in other ways to pass without your own documents A cross card Valid limitAFrom someone who has received it legally, to cross the border: the only danger is discovered by the authorities.
There must be others Hidden in small vehiclesWithout danger, as trucks should be Guided by land Or by sea.
“Kidnappers do not charge the same for everyone. It’s okay if you come with someone from the same town.
For “coyotes”, profits are paramount, not a guarantee of bringing immigrants safely and healthily.
Immigration rights activist Jen Butt, a former border police chief, tells the BBC that smugglers often smuggle goods. Immigrants as much as possible.
On one occasion he recalled, intercepting an old Ford truck driving on a hilly road near the border. There were 30 people in the trunk of the vehicle, one on top of the other.
“They were lying there like herring,” he says. “It’s dangerous. Those trucks tilt. People in the basement of vehicles often suffocate. This is very common.”
Traveling in large or small vehicles is not always the way to cross the border, but moving to big cities, immigrants are more likely to disperse safely.
Being Texas The closest U.S. state to Central and Southern Mexico – most Mexican immigrants and Central Americans come from here – This is the most popular route. From the junctions of Laredo and McAllen they usually head to San Antonio.
So, there have been tragedies in the region on Monday or in 2017 when 8 of the 39 migrants in a truck died due to suffocation.
In the case of the San Antonio incident, Sanchez says, “Most likely, people were already on the American side when they got on a truck.”
“For example, at crossings like the one in Laredo, almost all trucks go through the detector. So I guess – it should be confirmed later – many were already on the US side, and they were assigned there. That vehicle.”
In many cases, Jen Butt points out immigrants They are already weak After crossing the border walking through the rough terrain.
“The kidnappers will tell you it’s a 15 or 30 minute walk, but in reality it can take days,” he explains. “They are already dehydrated.”
“Now a cross might be $ 5,000, but so be it It is important to know that costs can vary greatly and that amount is often unpaidSays Sanchez.
People usually make a deal to pay them “coyotes” once they reach their goal.
“The next tragedy is just a few days away”
Despite the dangers, the number of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border has risen to an all-time high.
In May of this year, 239,416 migrants were arrested in one of the biggest waves in recent years.
Dulles Garcia explains that there are people carrying shelters on the border with Mexico Waiting almost two years for a refugee application U.S.A.
“I can not speak for the whole frontier, but at the 17 points we support, immigrants have attempted suicide in the most desperate way. Out of frustration, we talked to mothers who sent their children alone. The chance of survival,” Garcia said.
It used to cost a few hundred dollars to pay a merchant, but now Reaches US $ 8,000 and US $ 10,000 on average, The director of Angels de la Frontera from San Diego explains. Risking cheap travel is a very affordable option for them.
For his part, Sanchez knows that there is a pattern similar to what happened in San Antonio.
“Over the next few days, things may get a little calmer because there are so many trials, raids, more people going to see at night. But the next tragedy is still a few days to come“.
To the expert, the “only solution” offered by governmentsLegal travel guidelinesRegardless of nationality, race or social status “.
“Then there will be no demand from the kidnappers. It’s very simple, I know, but if there is no such freedom of access, there will be another ‘San Antonio’ in a few weeks.”
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