U.S. Border Patrol officials are reporting that there has been a 200 percent increase in the number of human smuggling-related arrests at immigration checkpoints in Southern California this year.
Human smuggling is a huge human rights problem that affects countries all over the world. It is something that the United States has a duty to try to stop. Although migrants usually enter into human smuggling situations voluntarily, they are often abused and extorted.
Human smuggling operations are often run by large criminal organizations. Their number one priority is making large amounts of cash. They generally don’t care about the well-being of the people that they are transporting. As a result, traveling conditions for migrants who are being smuggled is usually very inhumane. Migrants are often jammed onto overcrowded boats or trucks. They may perish in deserts or suffocate in barrels.
Migrants in human smuggling situations are extremely vulnerable to human trafficking. Human smuggling and human trafficking tend to overlap. Pregnant women, minor children and the elderly have all been preyed upon by migrant smugglers. People who are smuggled often owe large debts to their captors, which makes them extremely vulnerable to abuse. Often, migrants’ lives are jeopardized. Smuggling situations may involve rape, assault and murder.
In a horrific human smuggling case in 2017, 10 migrants died when they were locked in a semi-trailer in scorching heat with no air or water. This happened in San Antonio, Texas on a day when the summer heat caused temperatures outside to rise to 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside the truck, it was brutally hot, and there were more than a hundred people jammed into the tight space. The smugglers had crammed more than 100 in the truck to maximize profits. Unfortunately, 10 of the migrants paid the ultimate price with their lives.
To put a stop to situations like the above incident, The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is committed to aggressively investigating and pursuing increased penalties against human smugglers. The agency also vows to work hard to dismantle organized human smuggling operations.
Fortunately, it seems that ICE’s efforts have been successful. Border Patrol agents stopped a total of 210 human smuggling attempts at checkpoints in the El Centro Sector in California along Highways 86 and 111. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, there were only 68 human smuggling arrests during the same period a year ago.
Among those arrested was Juan Carlos Avalos-Padilla, who had an extensive criminal history including a conviction for attempted murder in 2010. He had served seven years in Riverside, California. Another notable arrest involved Ivan Partida-Valdez, who had been previously deported many times for aggravated burglary. In addition to human smuggling arrests, Border Patrol Agents also seized more than 1,300 pounds of methamphetamine.
~ Conservative Zone