Why do we need illegal
To do the jobs Americans don’t want to do
To work for wages American’s won’t accept
To replace workers since we have low rates of
fertility and a rapidly aging population
Many illegal immigrants pay taxes and pay for
services that we offer
Why do illegal immigrants
Smugglers know the terrain
Smugglers have contacts
The U.S. is making it physically more difficult to get
into the country
Illegal immigrants don’t have enough money to
migrate legally and safely
Family based immigration
1. Spouse if married 2 years
Have to prove it is a “real” marriage
Sample love letters, etc.
2.Child, if 1 parent is a citizen
3. Parents, if a child is a citizen
Family Preference system
1. Unmarried adult sons and daughters of citizens.
2.Spouses and children of green card holders
3. Married sons and daughters of citizens
4. Sisters and brothers of adult citizens
Limited to 226,000 visas annually
Extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education,
business or athletics
Advanced degrees that will help U.S. economy
Workers who will do jobs that U.S. citizens can’t be
Former U.S. Embassy employees from other countries
People who want to invest money
Generally this is too complicated for smugglers
to get involved
Temporary visitor for business
Think Like a Smuggler
Based on all these ways to migrate legally
into the U.S., what strategies might
smugglers employ to get illegals in?
What documents might illegal migrants need?
Social Security Card
Get expired passports from the black market and renew
with pictures similar to the former holder
Get passports from countries that don’t require a visa to
enter the U.S. (e.g. Japan)
Use a dead person’s identity. Take a photo i.d. and ask
for a copy of “your” birth certificate using the dead
person’s identity. Use birth certificate to get passport.
Buy a child’s identity and order passport.
Making fake passports
Thailand = country #1
Easiest to counterfeit passports from Spain, France,
Increasingly difficult because of holograms on
Hard to remove laminate
Getting a Social Security
Make counterfeit cards
Rent a social security number
An immigrant returns to his/her homeland but wants to
receive Social Security benefits. This requires at least 10
years of employment.
Illegal immigrant rents the card and uses the number
What’s it like in a document shop?
Entering Through Illegal
5000 miles with Canada
2000 miles with Mexico
93,000 miles of shoreline
To get to the border
Hitchhiking or riding on train roofs
Staying in little border towns, sometimes in captivity
Women have special problems of rape and assault
Swimming the Rio Grande (from New Mexico to the
Gulf of Mexico)
Once over the border
Walking through the desert
Extreme temperatures and few supplies
Blisters and other injuries
Since 1995 there have been 3500 deaths on the U.S. side
Hiding out from Border Patrol or Minutemen
Getting caught and returned to Mexico
Smuggling By Sea
Significant financial planning by smugglers
Need ship, captain, navigator etc.
Lots of food and water for journey
Involves large groups of immigrants at once
Because of needed numbers, migrants not adequately screened
If migrant can’t pay, result often is violence
Transport in cargo containers
Dangerous because of lack of air
Containers are stacked high and sometimes human cargo is in the
middle of the stack.
Put into container food, water, car battery, lights, porta-potty,
mattresses, cell phones.
Smuggling by Air
Find a bona fide reason to come to the U.S
Business delegation or conference
Have to train the migrants all about topic to be able to speak
intelligently at border
A corrupt border official who is paid off
Illegals always sent through his line
Immigrant allows himself to get caught and then pleads for
asylum, claiming persecution in his country
Who are the Smugglers?
Law Enforcement officers
Waiters and waitresses
Why do they smuggle?
Typical fee to cross land border = $400 per person
Increases to $3000 if involves transport to work city
Significantly more expensive if immigrant has to go through many
From Southern China, fees run between $65K and $70K per person
Seen as heroes to the nationals of their country
Limited punishment…up to 10 years as long as none of the
Not a part of organized crime
Easy to set up the business, but it’s not an easy business to do.