The flourishing business of people-smuggling

by gabrielleL on Février 21, 2017 - 4:22pm

In the hope of a better life, thousands of people leave their country every day. The migrant crisis is a worldwide problem that keeps growing. In this climate of fear and incertitude, people-smuggling, which is defined as “the illegal business of transporting people to a country which they are not authorized to enter as immigrants”, is flourishing. As it can be seen in many countries, such as Mexico and Europe, the business of people-smuggling is growing, creating a new problematic for governments.

Since Trump’s announced his intention of building a wall between the United States and Mexico, many people have expressed their concerns. The Mexican journal La Jornada took an interesting approach at this issue, when they posted an interview with a Mexican Smuggler on February 8. Illegal immigration from Mexico has also been an issue in the United States. According to Alejandro, an experienced smuggler, contrary to the popular belief, the construction of the wall will not prohibit people from crossing the border, it will only make it more lucrative for him. Because of the added difficulties smugglers will have to overcome, the prizes will be increased.

The people-smuggling business is also problematic in Europe, since thousands of refugees embark on boats every week in the hope to find better condition of life. However since the embarkation are not safe and are overloaded, many will drown before reaching the coasts. As it has been outlined by Zoie O’Brien in her article in the journal Express posted on February 15, 2017, the mission organized by the Europeans to rescue the migrants are helping the people-smuggler to make money. Because people are expecting to be rescued, less money is spent to make sure that the embarkations are safe and without danger. People-smuggler are also using this to boost their business. For them, since people are going to be taken care of by the rescuers, they don’t have to invest as much in the boats or lifeguard jackets. In short, the rescue mission organized by the Europeans are seen as business opportunity, since people-smuggler are decreasing the cost of their operations and increasing their profit, without any regards to people’s safety.     

In the last couple of months, Quebec too has found itself with a people-smuggling problem. In a recent article by cbcnews posted on February 14, 2017, Elysha Enos found that the number of people crossing illegally the border between the U.S. and Quebec has increased from 230% since last year. According to her, this increase is mainly due to the Muslim Ban imposed by Trump. Since immigrants’ faith in the United States is unknown for the moment, many decide to leave the country. Taking advantage of that desire, a people-smuggling business has been created in the last year between Quebec and the United States. However, since Quebec is a very cold country, many problems emerged. People-smuggler charge thousands of dollar to immigrants, but do not furnish coat or winter clothes to their “clients”. People often arrive at the Canadian border with severe frostbit, and in the most severe cases, fingers have to be cut. The conditions in which people are crossing the border are inhuman.

As it can be seen, people-smuggling is an important issue worldwide. For the moment, governments have not found a solution to end the problem, since even rescue mission are helping this illegal business to grow. However, one thing is sure, as long as immigration will exist there will always be people-smuggler to make profit out of the migrants’ desire to have a better life.