Untold numbers of female immigrants are raped by human smugglers during their trek through the Arizona desert. Evidence is scattered all along the trails. The rapists hang the women’s undergarments from trees as trophies. Seeing one of these trees in person was one of the most chilling experiences of my life. This is happening on U.S. soil —just one more consequence of an immigration policy that does not provide enough visas to people who do jobs that Americans don’t want. No one wants to be an illegal immigrant. People only assume these kinds of risks when they have no other option. Why aren’t news outlets reporting on this? To learn more listen to this 2007 report by Kira Neel of the Common Language Project.
This is happening more and more. Why? The U.S. provides very few visas for agricultural and manual labor jobs. Immigrants who work these jobs must enter the U.S. by walking through the Arizona desert for about four days. The migrants must hire human smugglers to successfully make this trek—otherwise they would likely get lost and die of dehydration. As demand for human smugglers has increased over the past two decades, so too have their fees. Smugglers now charge between $2000-$5000 per person. Human smuggling has thus become a billion dollar a year industry—one that has become increasingly attractive to drug cartels and organized criminals. These criminals could care less about the lives of the migrants. They rob them, leave them for dead, and rape the women.
Photos courtesy of Bob Kee