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Texas Cash Crop - Human Smuggling
Border Patrol Agents on Horseback
Southern Texas - Northern New Mexico
The "Pipeline" town where many illegal aliens hope to catch rides to San Antonio or Houston.
Illegal Immigration Fact:
The U.S. Immigration authorities cannot immediately legally deport people from a non-border sharing country. They are mandated by law to hold illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico (or Canada) until they can be processed through a court. All Mexican nationals caught crossing the southern border can be sent back on a bus. Sometimes on the same day.
The Illegal Alien Problem in South Texas
South Texas shares a very long, very hard and very dry border with Northern Mexico. Travelling the thousands of miles necessary through these bad lands to reach civilization is challenging, yet beckoning to many young people from Mexico and Central America.
They will pay huge sums of money to anyone who will help them get to San Antonio or Houston, the meccas of the lost. Even then, they must pay more money to reach jobs that are scattered from New York to California and almost every point in between. Many die.
Many times these poor people must become 'mules' to drug lords and coyotes in order to get the money they need for passage into and through the U.S.A. Women sell their bodies for that money. They sell their children in hopes that they won't become slaves, but they usually do.
Hundreds of these poor people die en route to the "promised land". They are locked into trucks with no water or air conditioning, each paying huge sums of money for this "privilege". Women are transported to locked houses and must become prostitutes to earn their "bed and boarding". Most of them never work off their so-called debts. Women are raped so many times by "coyotes" that they die and are tied to any "rape tree" in the area. A warning sign to all that try to escape the coyotes.
Now children are coming across. They are sent by their mothers who are enslaved by the harsh economic conditions of their birth homes.Some children cross over to look for their fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins that came before them and were never heard from again.
Guatemalan Boy Sitting on Tree Trunk
The Desert of South Texas
Can you imagine walking for days, weeks, perhaps even months, across a desert? There is growth here - thorny mesquite trees, wild grasses and cactus. But there are no lakes, rivers, ponds or watering holes of any kind, save what hardy ranchers have built for their livestock.
Once across the Rio Grande river, the land is inhospitable save for wild pigs and tough as nails livestock. There is no shelter, no water fountains, no restrooms, no respite from the cruel sun. You cross alone or with small groups that you cannot trust. Sleeping is hit or miss. And you are constantly hunted by men on horses, men in helicopters, even drones are now sent out to find you. You cannot travel by any road or the Immigration patrol will pick you up. But sometimes that is all that will save you.
You carry with you all the money you have in the world. But it will not slake your thirst or your hunger. Only the desire for a better life keeps you on your feet, mile after punishing mile. Only the hope of finding your loved ones or a decent job keeps you breathing.
It is like the underground railroad of old slavery times. There are people who will help you, give you water and food, perhaps even give you a ride to the cities where you will not be hunted like a wild animal. There are tunnels, invisible markers to guide you, word of mouth tales of success or failures. But if you are caught, "La Migra" will send you back to square one. That is if you live that long.
Hundreds die out here in the "pipeline". The wild pigs eat them. The ranchers sometimes find their bones. They die from dehydration, starvation or even deliberate murder. Sometimes they are double crossed by their Coyotes. Sometimes they are just killed for what little money and provisions they have.
Now imagine that you are just a child.
The Rio Grande River - The Texas Southern Border
Basically, both sides of the Rio Grande River of Texas are hard and dangerous.
Cashing in on the Misfortune of Immigrants
Would you believe that there are Texans willing to help these illegal immigrants? Some do it for altruistic reasons, but many do it to make money on human trafficking. Some illegal immigrants are not poor, but because they cannot enter the U.S.A legally, they must pay to be smuggled in.
Many Texans (who are also hit by a poor economy) are quite willing to give these people a ride to a city. Reportedly, the fee for just picking them up, like any hitch hiker, is anywhere from $500 to $5,000 US Dollars.
The rides begin after they have crossed the desert and made it to Falfurrias (for instance). After they have near died of thirst and hunger and if they make it to Highway 285, they signal the drivers in the know that they are willing to pay passage to Houston or other points north.
It seems that there are no more border patrol check points north of Highway 285 and locals giving these people a ride find it safe enough from being stopped by a border patrol car. This is not guaranteed, however, and citizens have been caught and charged with human trafficking. The punishments are rarely severe though, and most just pay a fine and go back to collecting more hitch hikers.
Slang Terms for Illegal Immigrants
Most illegal immigrants find these terms mean and racist:
- illegals - Anyone crossing a border without a legal right to do so.
- wet backs - Immigrants that have had to swim across a border
- sin papeles - Spanish for "without papers" (No passport or even birth certificate)
- Coyotes - anyone who accepts payment for illegal passage to another country
- mules - willing or unwilling immigrants that pay for passage to the U.S.A. by transporting illegal drugs or goods.
Houston, Texas - the Mecca for Illegal Immigrants?
Get The Facts!
Anyone can visit the Homeland Security web site and read the facts themselves. Many times people get very confused over what is true about illegal immigration and what is not true.
Rumors get started, then spread like wildfire. The most I have to say about it is that NO president in the history of the United States has EVER been able to control illegal immigration. So, it is upsetting to me to read that the current "crisis" in immigration is being blamed on the current President.
In fact, there simply is no current "crisis". The rate of illegal immigration has been steady since 1989, peaking in 1995 through 2004. The current percentage of illegal immigrants for the U.S.A. is holding at 14%. This is LESS THAN the percentage in 2000-2004 when it peaked at 28%.
The current President has deported MORE illegal immigrants than any other President in our nation's history.
So, visit the Department of Homeland Security and get the facts!
Immigrant or not?
Did you or your ancestors immigrate to the U.S.A.?
© 2014 Lela