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Monday, December 18, 2017

The Real Story of an Illegal Mexico/USA Border Crossing

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A good friend of mine showed up today. The last time I saw her was about a year ago. It was last June, I believe. She took a leave of abstinence from the restaurant where she was an assistant manager and returned home to see her daughter and mother in Durango, Mexico. We will call her Maria. Maria planned to only stay for a month and then return to her $30,000 a year job.

The problem was that, she was here in the United States illegally, but she felt it would be no big deal to get back across and was willing to spend the $3000 that was the coyote's normal price. Oh my, was this ever a big mistake.

Let's first understand this is not a political piece, it's a story told from one friend to another. A tale of reality, right or wrong this is what happened. A comedy of errors.

This is how it went:

Part one: Tijuana

In July, Maria made plans to return to Simi Valley. A coyote was hired, a coyote who guaranteed a quick and easy trip. Maria grabbed a flight from Durango to Tijuana, took a taxi to a hotel and spent the night. In the early morning she met the coyote, was given a resident card that vaguely resembled her, was given a list of family names to memorize, and was told she would be driven over the border in the morning.

Sure enough, at lights first glow, a lady in a pickup truck arrived and off they went to the San Diego border check point. When they pulled up, the conversation went something like this:

Border Guard: "Good morning ladies, and where are we going today? and do we have anything to declare?
Ladies: The profusely sweating driver responded very nervously, "we are just going to visit family in San Diego and we have nothing to declare."_
Border Guard: "could you please give me your finger print?

It was over right there, the fingerprint wasn't even close. Suddenly, Maria found herself accused of being the coyote and the head henchman in the operation. They were escorted to an office, the truck was immediately confiscated, and the girls found themselves in a very severe interrogation. After five hours, and a box lunch, they were fingerprinted and escorted back across the Mexican border with threats that they would be held for weeks if caught again.

Part two:Nogales

Maria decided the next day to try a different approach. After contacting a new coyote, she was instructed to get on a bus to Nogales, check into a specific hotel and wait for contact. Maria was very pleased, this guy knew what he was doing and he only charged $2000. Yeah, it involved a little desert walk, but she was told no more than 45 mins. Understand, Maria's nickname was "The Princess". Camping for her was indeed room service in a hotel.

So, at about 10:00 pm, eight people and Maria were led from the hotel to a private home next to the border. At 11:00 pm, two extremely drunk coyotes arrived and lead the group out into the desert. They took no water, food, flashlights, or maps..nothing. Within about 15 minutes, while still on the Mexican side, but in the desert, six men, armed with guns and knives, proceeded to rob the group of all possessions. They even took the men's shoes and belts. Not so amazingly the two coyotes that lead the band were unscathed.

Maria immediately insisted that she was going to return, but the coyotes convinced her that they were almost there. It's was two hours later in this promised 45 min walk, That the shit hit the fan, An American Border patrol truck was spotted and the coyotes moved the group under a set of trees. And then, as she looked up, she saw the two coyotes in a dead run back toward Mexico. Within five minutes, she was completely alone. At two am she began walking thought the barb-wired ranches that blocked her way to the US highway she wanted to find so badly. At 4:30 am, she found herself in the middle of the street waving her arms in the air, trying to stop a U S Immigration van.

She was picked up, taken to an interrogation holding area in Nogales, interrogated, fingerprinted, given a box lunch and after 12 hours, escorted over the border again.

Maria gave up, caught a plane back to Durango. Seven months passed before she decided on try # 3.

Part three: Tecate

Maria took a flight from Durango to Tijuana. (I forgot to ask her if she was getting airline miles for all these trips?) She then jumped on a bus and headed to Tecate. She went to a specified hotel and found out she was to join another "Hiking tour" with 15 others. This time it was a mountain experience. The good news, the cost was only $1500.

The group left at 5:00 am and after 12 hours of walking in the desert they were captured by the Border Patrol. They all liked the coyote so much they wouldn't give him up. Everyone was packed in a van, taken to San Diego held for 24 hours, no food, no water, then returned to Tijuana.

Part four: Tijuana
Maria was given a driver licence and residence card. The border patrol asked for father and mother's name. Since the card was stolen, no one knew. They impounded the car and walked them over the border again.

Part 5:Tijuana, the next day.
Maria (early twenty's) and another girl (32 years old) were given stolen American Passports. Maria's passport showed a blond lady, she is a typical dark haired Latina. The other girls passport was for a lady 52 years old. The border guard asked both if they were American citizens, never even opened the passports. Both girls replied yes, and I had lunch with Maria here today.

I have been laughing all day, you couldn't make this shit up!



About the Writer

Steven Lane is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on The Real Story of an Illegal Mexico/USA Border Crossing

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By vundula on May 04, 2007 at 02:24 pm
Where there is a will, there is a way. Great reporting. Vundula
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By Jen on May 04, 2007 at 03:50 pm
Good story. I had the ID of a 32 year old meth addict when I was 17. Worked every time. How much more difficult is it to enter the country legally? An explanation I got years ago is that the paperwork takes a long time and is costly. Is it more costly than $7000? Does it take longer than 7 months? I'd really like to know.
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By V on May 04, 2007 at 04:12 pm
Your friends appear to have stories as good as yours! Jen, check out my article: http://losangeles.broowaha.com/article.php?id=848 I can answer any questions for you ... Thanks Steve!
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By Annonymous on September 23, 2007 at 05:04 pm
And all I can do is wonder, if the US is such a "bad" (capitalist/exploitive/corrupt/war-mongering/Godless, etc) place, why so many are so tenacious in their determination to come here?
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By silverbullet on August 23, 2011 at 01:16 pm

What great determination? The girl had some guts! She could of been killed, millions cross the border only to through hell and some never make it. The proof are skeletons that are found of men, women and children along the path to a better life. The families of these poor souls thinking that they made it across and are living the American dream. then reality finally sets in when they never hear from their loved ones that never completed their journey. How heartbreaking for the family left behind. What a price to pay for a better life indeed.

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