Thursday, May 25

An Immigrant Underground -- Literaly

Enforcement becomes more and more urgent. Half-baked enforcement will only continue to endanger lives, and enrich coyotes willing to risk human life for a buck. I'm glad to hear about more use of technology, improved detection methods, etc. Read this story.
The stocky 28-year-old from Oaxaca had followed the smuggler into a vast labyrinth of drainage pipes under Otay Mesa, a booming commercial area of San Diego 15 miles southeast of downtown.

The 23-mile network leads to about 500 manholes scattered across about three square miles. From those openings into the bowels of the city, mud-covered migrants crawl out into streets, busy intersections and parking lots, creating a dizzying guessing game for U.S. Border Patrol agents.

"They're popping up all over the place," said Joe Perez, the agent in charge of the area.

The migrant traffic below truck-clogged streets and new office parks underscores the persistence and desperation of people faced with crossing one of the most heavily fortified sections of the border.

Illegal crossings will soon get even tougher. President Bush is sending 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, Congress is mulling its own enforcement plans and starting next month this busy frontier across from Tijuana will be monitored by remote surveillance cameras.

So the underground beckons.