Monday, July 21, 2014

"Unaccompanied Minors" is a Myth

Read this article from InSight Crime about the smuggling of children into the U.S. The key part:
"That's easy, in any city a child arrives and they [the other migrants] start telling each other: so and so arrived like this and without money. Things have gotten out of control; many polleros have taken advantage of this and are still charging $7,000. It's a great business, because to bring them [the kids] to the Mexican border with the United States, to Reynosa, for example, they are spending -- with everything included, even the tax paid to the Zetas, because the Zetas charge a fee whether the person is young or old -- around $2,000. Let's say that there at the border they pay around $500 to whoever brings them over. There's $2,500. They bring the kid to the other side. They leave him there, in the urban part of the city, and they prepare him well -- they tell him to say that he came alone, that he is looking for his mom or his dad. They [the kids] have to forget that they were accompanied by a coyote, they follow directions. There is always someone watching to make sure the kid speaks with the police -- even then he is not alone, there is always somebody watching to make sure they pick him up. Then he is in safe hands. As soon as the police have him, the coyote informs the family: 'He's in the hands of the law now; give it a little time.' Immediately, the authorities communicate with the mother; the child always carries with him names and telephones." 
"So the price hasn't dropped?" 
"Yes, there are people that are charging less, because now that it is a generalized practice, the families know that it is easier -- they are no longer willing to pay $7,000. My understanding is that some charge between $4,000 and $5,000. Once they're in Mexico, they've won the battle, and once they are in the United States, with the authorities picking up the kids, everything's in the bag. I have some friends who say that the minors are easy money. And that's true. The best thing that can happen is that a police officer from any department detains them.

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