Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stop Illegal Human Trafficking

Human trafficking between the United States and Mexico borders are tied to political, social and economic issues. Father Rafael Garcia of Sacred Heart Church looking at the issue commented; “As the pastor here, I am able to meet with a lot of people who probably prefer to stay with their family in Mexico, but they come to support their families and to seek a better life. It is important that we don’t look at this on a superficial level, but recognize that it’s about survival” (Humantrafficking.org). Some of the approaches to combat human trafficking are prevention, protection, prosecution, and reintegration.
The Mexican politicians demand visas for their citizens, but US consulates located in Mexico aren’t providing visas presently. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that a “substantial” percentage of America’s illegal population in made up of visas overstays their range from 23 to 57 percent. A person who stays in the United States later becomes eligible to legalize their status.
The T-1 visa was created to address the growing of international human trafficking and is designated for victims of trafficking. Provides a trafficking victim with the legal means to prevent removal or deportation from the United States,  T-1 visas are issued for three years, and some are eligible to adjust status to permanent residency. Persons eligible are those trafficked for the purpose of commercial sex act, and labor of services, which were induced by force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjecting the person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slave. (ansarilawfirm.com) Shelter and rehabilitation services are provided for victims of trafficking.
Victims of human trafficking face major problems being reintegrated into their homes. Social stigma through psychological therapies will be overcome. The Department of Health and Human Services created Tool Kits for Health Care Providers, Social Service Providers, and Law Enforcements Officers who are currently providing service to victims of trafficking, or who could potentially come into contact with a victim. In the United States of America the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, enhances pre-existing criminal penalties in other related laws. Under this law one option has become available to for some victims who assist in the prosecution of their traffickers is the “T-Visa” that allows the victim to remain in the United States. (humantrafficking.org)
Unfortunately, human trafficking is an international issue that the United States and Mexico borders are facing today. The illegal immigration issue needs more attention, since immigrants are dying. The T-1 visa is an opportunity to speak up, let others know about the process and requirements. Not everyone qualifies, but if we can save at least one person from torture, rape, or dying, we have accomplished something. People need knowledgeable information, and be educated, with available resources on the steps of obtaining a visa.

Human Smugglers: Coyotes

A coyote or pollero is someone who specializes in human smuggling, bringing people across the United States border from Mexico. Coyotes use a variety of techniques to their illegal clients over the border, ranging from sneaking across the desert to hiding smuggled immigrants in trucks. A human smuggler is not the same as a human trafficker. A human smuggler helps people get across the border for a high fee, and then generally lets them go. But human traffickers will sell the person as a slave, for prostitution, for drug transportation, and exploit them. The U.S. immigration officials reported that 11 illegal immigrants who had been smuggled into the country were found dead in a covered grain car in Iowa. Their bodies had been trapped at least four months. Crossing the Unites States can be the death for many illegal immigrants.
The coyotes clients are girls as young as 13, to pregnant women. Having girls been transported by the Mexican drug cartels is becoming seriously dangerous. Mexican drug cartels have moved in on coyotes. The cartels count with advance communication devices, better transportation, relations with corrupt border patrols.  According to the U.S. Border Patrol Special Agent Joe Romero; “Now, because of the so-called security needs of the border, what’s been created is this structure of smuggling in the hands of really nasty people who only treat the migrants as a commodity.” The Mexican cartels transport illegal immigrants with drug trafficking. The cartels are well organized. The crimes towards illegal immigrants committed by the cartels are increasing, and more than 350 kidnappings were recorded in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizona police say there have been numerous reports of violence committed at drop houses.
The coyotes are selected by their reputation, by illegal immigrants to cross them to the Unites States. The coyote will guide them safely. People use a coyote, rather than attempting to cross by themselves. People are less likely to die when an expert is guiding them. But now that the Mexican Cartels are taking over the business, people should take in consideration the visa and migrate legally. Turning to coyotes is not always the best option, and if the visa is denied they have to take the time and reapply. People should be more aware of the dangerous that the Mexican Cartels are and appreciate life more.

The Rio Grande: A dream divider

I don't want to go on being just a root in the shadows,
vacillating, extended, shivering with dream,
down in the damp bowels of earth,
absorbing it, thinking it, eating it every day.

-Pablo Neruda from 'Walking Around'
Illegal immigration has been known as a problem between the United States and Mexican border. The borders are impenetrate separations. The Rio Grande a river raises in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, flows south to El Paso, Texas. It then goes all the way east, to empty into the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, illegal immigrants take riskier routes crossing to the Unites States. The Rio Grande a dangerous river illegally had been crossed by fearless immigrants. Crossing the Rio Grande can have positive and negative effects.
Although a responsibility of the federal government, Mexican consulate can play a legitimate role in providing support to illegal immigrants. The McAllen, Texas Mexican Consulate oversees cases from Hidalgo, Starr and Brooks County of illegal immigration. The Mexican Consulate is an official branch of the government that operates offices in foreign countries to provide services to its citizens when dealing with U.S. laws and legal system issues.  According to the McAllen consulate they handle 67 bodies in 2008, compared to 39 in 2007 from the Rio Grande. The percentage of death immigrants increased a 40%. Death bodies of desperate Mexicans and Central Americans pursuing dreams disappear daily underneath the river.
All along the Rio Grande, smuggling of immigrants creates a situation of lawlessness and dangerous. Blas Nunes from “Border Security: Barriers along the US International Border” reported; “Operation Rio Grande, launched in February 2006 to augment the efforts of Operation Linebacker, pools resources from various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, increasing law enforcement’s presence of the border.” Successfulness improvements in borders safety consequently reduce illegal immigration.
Millions of immigrants cross the river illegally, unfortunately unsupervised. Mexican immigrants expresses their despair, “Prefiero morir que seguir con la misma miseria que tengo aqui” meaning, “I will die than to keep living under the miserable conditions I live in.” Better economic opportunities, produces the migration of people. The United States attracts people from all over the world like a strong magnet. The U.S. was known as the land of opportunities where immigrants achieve the American dream.
Undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans who cross the Rio Grande illegally are known as “wetbacks.” They are called “Mojados” which means wetbacks and also means economic refugees who crossed over the Rio Grande. There are three classes among the Mojados; people who swam across the river with a guide, people who swam across the river with a guide along a safe route, and those who couldn’t afford to pay a guide and found the way by themselves, some drowning along the way. The irony of history, in the 19th century, Americans and Texans slaves crossed the river seeking freedom. Today, Texans mayors oppose on building fences along Mexico, deepen and widen the Rio Grande became the solution.
How U.S. citizens, the free thinkers of the world, consider the idea of shutting down illegal immigrants in such devious way? Widening the Rio Grande won’t deter human smuggling into the Unites States. The project estates the personal sentiments towards illegal immigration issue; don’t care if they die, just as long they never make it. Michael Macias from MBC 23 News indicated; “the percentage of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing through the Rio Grande Valley has double in one year.” Hopefully in the future people take inconsideration the higher percentage of people dying in the Rio Grande. The increase of border patrols agents with over 2,300 in the Rio Grande Valley is intended to create terror among illegal immigrants, stop them from migrating illegally under unsafe conditions.