Smuggling Through Sewers: Juarez’s Migrant Crisis
According to a report in El Diario nearly 4,000 people have crossed into the U.S. from Juarez…through the sewer system.
The Diario report was based on a statement released by the Mexican Attorney General’s office. They cite “a bilateral investigation with US authorities Homeland Security Investigations and Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA).
Here’s part of what the Mexican AG had to share:
“Transnational Criminal Organizations operating in the El Paso sector, and the human smugglers they employ, exploit the manholes within the city of El Paso to smuggle migrants illegally into the United States.”
The Mexican Attorney General also said that such criminal enterprises have used this method “for many years”. More from the OAG in Mexico:
“El Paso’s storm drain system is very large and complex and migrants often get lost or come across chemicals, toxic gases, insects, and venomous animals as they attempt to enter the United States.”
I’m sure I’m as upset as anyone that human smuggling operations have to contend with bugs and gross sewer stuff. Should El Paso Water clean up the sewers to make them more “presentable” to our transnational visitors?
Mexico’s AG announced that they have charged six people with human trafficking, among other charges.
Here’s the story from our news partners at KVIA-ABC 7. It includes a video of what appears to be people climbing out onto the street from an El Paso sewer manhole.
The El Paso Water company seemed to confirm that this is something they’re well aware of in a statement: “ If migrants are spotted on EPWater property, employees are advised to immediately call authorities. In such cases, the utility fully cooperates with law enforcement.”
U.S. Border Patrol says they don’t keep exact numbers on the people entering through the sewer but they acknowledge it’s a method smugglers have used for many years.
I don’t know…maybe put a padlock on the OUTSIDE of the manholes?