Arizona is home to many Mexican immigrants who have illegally crossed the border, but smugglers are now handling increasing numbers of Chinese immigrants, who pay huge sums to get to the U.S. after making the long journey to Mexico. The New York Times reports:
As record quantities of illegal drugs are being intercepted in Arizona, those involved in taking people and drugs across the border are increasingly concentrating on the more rewarding smuggling of Chinese immigrants, said David Jimarez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol.
Chinese immigrants commonly pay smugglers upward of $40,000 each to lead them from their homeland to the United States, Mr. Jimarez said. In comparison, he said, illegal immigrants from Mexico commonly pay $1,500 to $3,000.
“The price far exceeds other nationalities, mainly due to the elaborate nature of the trip from China to Mexico,” said Vincent Picard, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
An article last year in the Chicago Tribune reported that, “the Border Patrol in the Tucson sector has caught at least 261 Chinese crossers this year, compared to an average of 32 during the past four years”