In the kitchen of a house in Laredo, Texas, 37 people were found, after a call for help from a migrant. Photo: Taken from www.cbp.gov
The Border Patrol discovered nearly 400 safe houses that are crowding dozens of undocumented migrants.
In operations that took place between October 2019 and the same month of 2020, US agents freed people who were waiting for the promise of human traffickers to be distributed throughout the United States, but the long wait became more complicated without electricity, water and many times food, revealed on its official website the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Kenneth Kroupa said that “many times smugglers ask migrants for extra money while keeping them in unsanitary conditions. “They cannot escape,” he added.
Imagine 60 people in a confined space without electricity, water or food, “he said, describing conditions in a” safe house. “
The situation reported by CBP is continually repeated in Texas. In Laredo, the border city where Kroupa works, CBP found 103 of the 397 safe houses that were distributed to California.
According to CBP data, the Texas city of Edinburg was home to 141 of those homes.
I was in a house in Laredo, they wouldn’t let us get up, we sat side by side and they gave good food to those who paid extra. It was horrible, “he told Excelsior Carlos, a Mexican who was arrested and deported last month.
First they asked me for 25 thousand pesos to cross me and once I was in the United States they told me that they could not let me go until they distributed us (him and the other nine that were in the group) in different cities, ”he said.
Carlos, originally from Oaxaca, had to pay to go to the bathroom and to have “decent” food.
Sixteen days after setting foot on US soil, Carlos left that place, where his “American dream” began and ended.
In Yuma, Arizona, the Border Patrol dismantled eight such houses last year, double the number discovered in 2018. CBP’s supervisory agent for that sector, Oscar Joanicot, said the border alert increased along with the covid pandemic. -19, since human trafficking did not yield.
Many of them travel from southern Mexico, as well as from countries in Central America or even the Middle East. So they travel throughout a country or several. They cross the border, and they’re obviously not getting any kind of medical treatment or exams or anything, and then they pile them up in very dirty places. It has always been a problem, and now with covid-19 it is greater, “said Joanicot.
He is an agent who, despite continually experiencing the discovery and detention of undocumented migrants, continues to feel helpless in the face of the bad experience they face in their attempt to get a better life. “We want to catch the traffickers who did this to them. Its merchandise is people. They don’t care if someone dies. They just go and find someone else waiting to cross. “
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