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Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration ControlEnforcing the Boundaries of Belonging$
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Mary Bosworth, Alpa Parmar, and Yolanda Vázquez

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198814887

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198814887.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2019

Portrait of a Human Smuggler

Portrait of a Human Smuggler

Race, Class, and Gender among Facilitators of Irregular Migration on the US–Mexico Border

(p.29) 2 Portrait of a Human Smuggler
Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration Control

Gabriella E. Sanchez

Oxford University Press

The hypervisibility of contemporary migration flows has generated significant interest in human smugglers, and reports of their activities are ubiquitous. Smugglers as facilitators of irregular migration are most often characterized as young and violent men from the Global South organized in criminal networks who are responsible for the tragic journeys of migrants around the world. Yet despite their frequent appearance in dramatic migration accounts, smugglers have hardly been the subject of empirical inquiry, which has led to the prevalence of male-centred, racialized, and classist characterizations of their activities. This chapter, drawing from structured interviews and participant observation conducted among twelve women charged with human smuggling offences and twenty-five women who travelled with smuggling facilitators in the US states of Arizona and Utah, situates the narratives of smuggling and its intersections with race, class, and gender in the facilitation of border crossings along the US–Mexico border.

Keywords:   human smuggler, US–Mexico border, coyotes, irregular migration, women smuggling facilitators

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