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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Arizona Targets Wired Funds of Immigrant Smugglers

We know that immigrants from Mexico and other South and Central American countries, both legal and illegal, send money back to relatives. The most reliable method is the wire transfer. The State of Arizona has been intercepting wire transfers coming into the State from Mexico. This happens for only a few reasons two of which are, to pay for goods being shipped to Mexico which is legitimate, or to pay smugglers to help bring humans across the border.
Targeting wire transfers into Arizona, the state is hoping to hamper the finances of smuggling operations that bring scores of illegal immigrants across the border each year.

Since March 2005 authorities in Arizona have halted 12,417 wire transfers, seizing $15 million in funds, $3 million in vehicles and $5 million in property.

The intercepted transfers, averaging $800 to $1,800 each, typically are payments sent by individuals in Mexico to coyotes and other groups involved in illegal immigration north of the border.
California has a similar effort. The easiest way to curb behavior is to take the value out of it. Obviously this is not the only way the coyotes receive their fees. This is also not the only way to combat illegal immigration, just one tool of many. A fence along the border would go a long way to slowing the flow of human traffic into the US, eh Gov. Napolitano are you listening?

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