On Tuesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that they had arrested 192 human smugglers and seized US$625,000 in illicit profits from the smuggling business on the Texas-Mexico border. This tactic is part of efforts to curb immigration to the United States, in the wake of the child-migrant crisis, which has further polarized rhetoric about immigration and prevented any productive response.
For the DHS to brag about capturing human traffickers is hypocritical at best. It is the United States’ own prohibitive migration policies and complicity in exacerbating the effects of the drug war that have resulted in the upsurge of human trafficking. This “crackdown” barely addresses this problem, and will do nothing to change the inhumane legal immigration process. Coupled with the vicious drug war, this process forces thousands of people to cross the border in life-threatening, criminal conditions.