Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mr. Bush, Put Up That Wall!

Tractor-trailers continue to be a preferred way of smuggling migrants, at a great cost to truckers who get tempted by the promise of easy money, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.
Last weekend, agents arrested three truckers who worked for at least two different smuggling rings and who now face up to five years in jail.
One, who is not a U.S. citizen, will probably lose his green card. All will lose their rigs, which were seized by the government.
One truck belonged to an unnamed trucking company and the two others belonged to the truckers themselves.
"All independent truckers and companies are vulnerable if the truckers are being approached and accept the money offered to them," said Daniel Page, ICE assistant special agent in charge in El Paso.
The truckers arrested last weekend transported migrants in the sleeper compartments of their 18-wheelers, not in the trailers.
Their arrests were the work of a new task force called Border Enforcement Security Task force, or BEST, with members from ICE, the Border Patrol, El Paso Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Attorney.
Those arrested were Genaro Tapia Saldaña, 46, of Long Beach, Calif.; Joel Victoria Michaca, 42, of Banning, Calif.; and Homero Perez Silva, 36, a permanent U.S. resident who lives in Juárez.
Tapia was arrested Saturday at the Petro Truck Stop in Anthony, Texas, after three undocumented immigrants were spotted climbing into his cab.
Victoria was arrested Sunday on the 7700 block of Gateway East after officers saw three undocumented immigrants climbing into his 18-wheeler at the Petro 2 Truck Stop in Vinton.
One man was hiding in a closet and the two others under the bed. Perez was arrested Sunday at Interstate 10 at Trans Mountain Road. Six undocumented immigrants, including a 6-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy, were under the sleeper compartment.
The truckers said they were paid between $400 and $600 per immigrant. The migrants were headed to Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.
Also arrested this weekend was Magdalena Estrada Collazo, 44, of El Paso's Lower Valley, with three undocumented men in her 1998 Ford Expedition. Her vehicle was seized as well. All were charged with alien smuggling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm relieved to see they are seizing assets of smugglers. FASTER Please! MORE MORE MORE>

7:42 PM  

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