‘This Time I Am Going to Cross!’: Fighting Entrapment Processes Through the Provision of Human Smuggling Services on the US–Mexico Border

  • Gabriella E. Sanchez
Part of the Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security book series (TCCCS)


Human smuggling is often monolithically described as a practice conducted by evil and exploitative smugglers who prey on the naiveté of those on the move. This depiction does not just point at the role of the state for the deployment of mechanisms that entrap migrants and asylum seekers in transit. It also hides the ways migrants and asylum seekers circumvent the risks posed by migration and border enforcement controls. Drawing from data collected in 2015 on the experience of a Mexican migrant family who crossed the US–Mexico border with the assistance of smuggling facilitators, this chapter provides an account of the efforts of undocumented migrants at avoiding the entrapment put in place by the state to curtail their mobility. By engaging the services of smugglers, migrants attempt to reduce the risks inherent to their journeys, which indicates a continued reliance on smugglers—despite the growing criminalization of clandestine flows—as an effective tool to reduce risk and ensuring safe journeys.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriella E. Sanchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Migration Policy CentreEuropean University InstituteFlorenceItaly

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