This chapter examines the social organization of human smuggling groups along the United States (US)-Mexico border. The men and women of smuggling have diverse backgrounds, and work on an ad-hoc, temporary basis facilitating the extra-legal crossings of migrants across the US-Mexico border. The chapter reveals no indication of smuggling participants responding to any kind of centralized, hierarchical leadership. Furthermore, and contrary to popular belief, no evidence of collaboration was found between human smuggling groups and transnational organized crime. Instead, facilitators operate locally, recirculating the income generated by smuggling into the local economies, and in so doing supplementing the income they generate through their full-time employment in the legal economy in an attempt to reduce the socio-economic marginalization that working-class communities along borders have experienced historically. The chapter also explores the likelihood of a connection between human smuggling groups and other networks or organizations involved in other forms of criminal activity.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook on Crime and International Migration|
|Editors||Sharon Pickering, Julie Ham|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon Oxon UK|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|