Mexicans Arrested for Drug Trafficking
See More Mexicans Arrested for Drug Trafficking in Johnson City

Corrupt firms aid smugglers of immigrants

(

AP) PHOENIX - Smugglers who bring illegal immigrants into the U.S. are getting crucial help from seemingly legitimate businesses that supply them with cars, lodging, plane tickets and other services, knowing full well what's going on. Investigators say the number of these corrupt businesses is small, but they play a significant role in helping illegal immigrants reach the country's interior.

The accomplices have included landlords and rental agents who provide homes for smugglers to hide immigrants; taxi drivers near the border who bring immigrants to the closest cities; used-car dealerships that let smugglers register vehicles under false names; and travel agencies that sell blocks of plane tickets for immigrants. "At every stage along the way, a process has been taken over, corrupted, in order to facilitate the transportation" of illegal immigrants, said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, whose office has prosecuted such cases.

Authorities are unable to estimate the number of businesses helping smugglers but say the biggest concentration is in Arizona, the busiest illegal gateway into the country. Immigrant smuggling in Arizona is believed to be a $1.7 billion-a-year business. Businesses also are cooperating with smugglers in San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, Texas. Immigration agents said some of these accomplices are criminal operations through and through. But others are bona fide businesses willing to break the law now and then for the extra bucks.

Authorities have prosecuted only a modest number of businesses, saying smuggling operations are often family-run and difficult to infiltrate with informants or undercover officers. Also, recorded conversations are needed to prove that businesses knew they were breaking the law. The businesses "are willfully blind to what on the face should be obvious," said Alonzo Pena, chief of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona.

November 22, 2007 Copyright 2007 AP

See Illegal Immigration-Crime

Mass Immigration Killing the Working Poor Here Too

Immigration reform will cause even more misery for the working poor as an additional 22 million more guest workers over the next decade will further displace native born low-wage workers and already have in East Tennessee and Tri-Cities. Low-wage black workers have been driven out of the labor force across the nation by immigration and the same thing is happening to poor whites in our region as employers hunt for more cheap-exploitable labor.

In fact this has been recommended to business as a way to lower labor costs in the tourist-retirement related industries this region is promoting. Simply put they want to bring in even cheaper labor to displace the working poor that already dominates our private sector labor market. The working poor are ignored and marginalized already and so the system of social apartheid will continue to flourish.


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