This book presents research on how profit-oriented migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons activities into the United States are carried out and explores the legal and policy challenges for counter-measures. It aimed to provide a criminological analysis of the strategies employed to gain unauthorized entry into the United States. The research emphasized the organized and business nature of unauthorized entries facilitated by enterprising agents.
Data sources include published government and non-government agency reports, academic studies, news media reports and personal interviews with irregular migrants, migrant smugglers and law enforcement representatives. Information on the sample size or selection is not provided.
The book begins with an overview of the scope and patterns of global migration and migrant smuggling activities. It describes some of strategies and methods employed by various groups to bring individuals into the United States through authorized channels, such as marriage fraud and temporary visas.
The book further addresses the acquisition of identification documents by smugglers. Acquiring a passport is an elaborate and cautious process, which involves scouting, approaching, persuading, negotiating and purchasing. Moreover, it is an ongoing process, with Chinese smugglers constantly looking for prospective sellers and buyers.
The book also examines migrant smuggling through unauthorized entry channels (in contrast to "legal” channels, such as visa overstaying) and describes three major smuggling strategies: overland, maritime and by air. Chinese smugglers, for example, have changed their seafaring strategies. Instead of landing migrants directly on US mainland shores, they often drop their clients at peripheral locations, such as US territories in the Pacific or Mexico or Canada, hoping to gain entrance through a series of land-and-ocean relays.
One chapter of the book is dedicated to the rise and fall of the most famous female Chinese migrant smuggler known as Sister Ping, who built a smuggling empire stretching to different parts of the world. The book shows that female smugglers are not uncommon in Chinese migrant smuggling activities.
Migrant smuggling as a business is a further topic of the study. Drawing on original research on Chinese migrant smugglers conducted in a prior study by the author, this chapter describes general patterns regarding the individuals involved in the business and their organizational and operational attributes. The author argues that most migrant smugglers are enterprising agents who form groups with loose memberships and limited command structure.
The book also deals with the phenomenon of trafficking in women and children, particularly for sexual exploitation. In addition to discussing the different aspects of trafficking in persons, such as causes, the role of corruption and the business side of trafficking, the book presents two case studies to illustrate how Korean sex traffickers operate in the United States. Referring to the organization and execution, the book claims that few human traffickers come close to the level of sophistication of Korean sex traffickers.
The study discusses the nexus of terrorism and organized crime, including migrant smuggling. According to the author, organized criminal activities possess the optimal structural and operational facilities for terrorist activities. The author argues that the unauthorized movements from countries with links to Islamic extremists are likely to present opportunities to terrorist groups to place members into targeted countries.
The last chapter of this book discusses issues and challenges of combating migrant smuggling. It looks at two basic approaches used to halt migrant smuggling activities, from the perspective of the United States: macro-level changes initiated by the US Government and tactical or micro-level strategies devised and implemented by law enforcement agencies.
The book focuses on different aspects of migrant smuggling into the United States. It also provides good information on Chinese migrant smuggling organizations and their activities. This book highlights how various smuggling and trafficking activities into the United States are carried out and explores policy challenges in combating the problem.