ICE busts huge human smuggling ring in Arizona

ICE photo

More than 800 law enforcement agents swooped down on a massive human smuggling ring in Arizona early Thursday morning, delivering a “stunning blow” to a criminal network that helped shuttled illegal immigrants all around the country.

Human smuggling is a $1.7 billion a year business in Arizona. Western Union recently got hit with a $92 million fine for money-laundering human smuggling and drug money. Robert Krentz was shot on on his own ranch on March 27, presumably by someone crossing over. Phoenix police say they are outgunned in their confrontations with drug cartel-related violence. There’s a feeling things are getting out of control.

We’ve driven to and from Arizona recently on I-8 from California, which skirts the Mexico border. There are usually 2-3 checks by Border Police. You stop your car. Dogs sniff. They peer inside. They’re looking for drugs or people being smuggled. The same thing happens on back roads too. People and drugs cross over major mountains in Mexico then try to slip in the US by walking across deserts, which in the best of times are dangerous. There’s little water, no shade, as well as rattlers and other things that bite.

This human smuggling ring was using more than a dozen shuttle companies to move people around the country and one estimate has their profit in “the billions.” All that money has to get laundered, which in turn has a huge corrupting influence on anything it gets near.

We need a saner immigration policy, because what we have now clearly isn’t working.

Arizona is about to pass the nation’s harshest law against undocumented workers

The law allows police to ask anyone for their papers, in fact it mandates that they do so. Citizens can sue police to compel them to do more. The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, opposes the law.

Arizona was in a harsh spotlight after lawmakers passed what’s being called the nation’s toughest law against illegal immigrants. It wasn’t a flattering light, and the state will not benefit from a law that is more about rage and rhetoric than real solutions.

We need real solutions.

They rightfully say that the law will certainly be challenged in court, something the state doesn’t need after their recent huge budget cuts. It will create a climate of fear in immigrant areas with crimes going unreported. It mandates racial profiling. It will not help the state attract high-tech jobs if it is perceived as extremist. Worse, it doesn’t solve anything.

The people who live along the border need enhanced security – especially those near where rancher Robert Krentz was recently killed by someone who fled south across the border.

This bill is aimed at day laborers on city streets.

The murder of Krentz was a watershed moment as it was the first time a rancher was killed. Underneath the rage, people are scared, wondering just how crazy is all this going to get.

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