Video: Past Anti-Smuggling Efforts Are Models for Current Border Crisis

30-Year INS Veteran on Successful Operations

Aug 05, 2014, 01:00 ET from Center for Immigration Studies

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new video series from the Center for Immigration Studies explores successful – and cost-effective – efforts to disrupt human smuggling that provide strong models for addressing the current border crisis. Recent public discussion has focused on requests for additional funding, on lax enforcement policies that have led to the influx of illegal crossers, and on changes in the way unaccompanied alien children are handled. This series examines ways to address the illicit human-smuggling networks that have facilitated and been enriched by the surge of families and children, and which, if disrupted, would greatly diminish the number of illegal crossings.

Hipolito Acosta oversaw high-profile investigations and successful undercover missions involving human smuggling operations in Central America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East during his 30 years in immigration enforcement.

"Interdiction efforts need to start way beyond our borders," says Mr. Acosta. He discusses Operation Bus Bound, in which the United States joined with Latin American countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to intercept nearly 80,000 U.S.-bound migrants from Central America in Mexico over 12 months in 2001-02. As a result, U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions of illegal crossers from Central America were reduced by 76 percent over the period.

The interview series is at: http://cis.org/Videos/ImmigrationPolicyInterviews/Hipolito-Acosta-Smuggling. Some highlights:

  • "We need a more dedicated force in interior cities of the United States for [addressing] human smuggling. . . . Often there are arrests by local authorities, but no action taken against the smugglers."
  • "Smuggling is also an issue because of other criminal activity that goes with it."
  • Acosta urges tougher action on employers who hire illegal aliens who have been smuggled into in the United States.
  • "Human smuggling organizations throughout Central America and Mexico and along the border know that once they get beyond the border the chances of being detained by law enforcement authorities are minimal."

To read more about Operation Bus Bound: http://cis.org/vaughan/immigration-enforcement-program-stifled-illegal-central-american-flow

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.

Contact: Marguerite Telford
mrt@cis.org, 202-466-8185

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SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies