You work Children's Court - like I do - and you hear things. Especially when you're representing kids in CPS cases that are within a day's drive of the US-Mexico border.
And, this week, I learned some thought-provoking info about running Mexican nationals across the border. Each immigrant pays $1500 to the smuggler (here, we call them coyotes) to get him safely to his US destination.
At $1500/head, that's really good money. And it is apparently a booming business in a bad economy.
Sure, Border Patrol knows about this. They're trying. But think about it. You are a Mexican American, or I suppose you could be anyone as long as you have contacts in Mexico.
You aren't educated, and you've got kids to raise. Times are tough.
So, you make some arrangements and you drive your car down near the border. Maybe you stop at the Dairy Queen outside of Laredo. Maybe you just pull up next to a certain mile marker not far from Brownsville.
And, suddenly, 7 people rush to your car, or minivan, or SUV, and jump in. You speed off, and within an hour or two, you've dropped them off at their cousin's house. In San Antonio, or Austin, or San Marcos or somewhere.
And, in one afternoon, you've made $10,500.00.
Sure, that's gross revenue. You'll have to pay the Mexican contact some of it. You'll maybe have to pay the drug cartels a portion, if they know you're operating. But even if those costs run 50%, you've still made $5250 in one afternoon.
And $5250 net for one afternoon's driving is very good money indeed.
For more, read this discussion of women becoming coyotes.