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Tighter Border Policies Fuel Illegal Smuggling Industry

The deadliest human smuggling incident on U.S. soil was most likely due to the government’s failure to create safe, legal channels for fleeing migrants, according to immigration experts.

On Monday night, 53 migrants were found in the back of an overheated tractor-trailer in southwest San Antonio.

Former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner told The Houston Chronicle that the U.S. is long overdue for new immigration laws, “so that there are ways for people to come to the country legally that make sense for our economy and circumstances.”

Today’s immigration laws are actually only making the situation worse, forcing desperate people to search for illegal smugglers, to embark on an expensive and dangerous journey in search of a better life.

The terrible conditions in their home combined with job opportunities and family is what draws them to the United States. 

“Border restrictions or greater law enforcement generates the incentives of the creation of networks of smugglers because migrants cannot do it by themselves,” said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a national expert in smuggling networks along the Southwest Border.

Human smuggling is a multi-billion dollar industry. A 2018 report by the United Nations estimated that smugglers cashed in $5.5 billion — 7 billion for smuggling 2.5 million migrants around the world.

Without sufficient pathways to safety, the industry is likely to continue growing, as it is fueled by demand – vulnerable and desperate people that will continue to search for smugglers to escape precarious conditions.

Matthew Reynolds, UNHCR Representative to the United States and the Caribbean, said that to prevent the loss of life, “what is needed are safer alternatives to these dangerous irregular movements.”

Instead, U.S. Republicans have made it even harder for migrants to obtain legal asylum – especially for adult Central Americans and Mexicans.

The Trump-era border policy Title 42, allows immigration officials to handily remove asylum seekers and other migrants at the border, denying them access to the legal asylum process. The Biden administration tried to lift the policy in late May but was temporarily stopped by a federal judge, after Texas and other GOP-led states sued, as reported by The Houston Chronicle

The report by the United Nations recommended that investments in addressing unemployment and climate change could help mitigate migration to the United States. Because the only thing the U.S. government is accomplishing with stricter border policies is an increase in underground systems that line the pockets of international criminal organizations. 



Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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