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Human Trafficking Racket: Nepal to the USA

ICE Graveyard 12/04/2016 Kishor Panthi
MEXICO PRISON © ArtisRams via Getty Images MEXICO PRISON

In addition to its rich cultural heritage, renowned art performances, and spiritual temples, Nepal remains notorious for its discreet dark side. The country houses a large group of very active human smugglers who have not only been instrumental in sending Nepali youngsters to dangerous places like Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in smuggling them to the United States of America through Mexico. That being said, it is important to note that the racket of human smugglers responsible for smuggling Nepali youths to the USA is far more treacherous than their equivalents that cater to Iraq and Afghanistan. Owing to the extreme dangers involved in trafficking humans to the US, Nepali human smugglers, including underworld dons, stay in constant touch with their foreign counterparts. Statistics are suggestive of the involvement of more than a dozen individuals and manpower agencies in this lethal business of illegal human trafficking from Nepal to the United States.
All About The Process of Smuggling People into The United States
The first step towards an illegal entrance into the United States of America is to meet up with a human trafficker in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. These human Smugglers who penetrate people into the United States maintain a discreet profile and do not keep any offices, or manpower agencies as opposed to those in Dubai, Malaysia, or Qatar. One has to go through various channels to reach these brokers, and eventually bargain a transfer fees to reach the States.
However, the price is fixed in Kathmandu, fifty percent of which is to be paid upfront, while the remaining balance can be paid after reaching the Texan Border of USA. After a broker receives the upfront payment, a date is fixed to go to the USA with a batch of 15-20 other illegal migrants, although there may be times when the migrants may have to wait for two to three months before their departure.
Certain terms and conditions need to be fulfilled before the unlawful journey to the USA begins. The first condition set by the human smugglers is a no-refund policy in event of a migrant getting arrested on the way and being deported to Nepal. Each individual is responsible for their own safety, including the risk of losing their lives. The migrants are prohibited from carrying any metals including mobile phones, watches, and cameras, to avoid being detected by metal detectors during air monitoring, as they cross South American jungles. After leaving Nepal, no one is allowed to contact their families back home to evade tapped phone, and carry nothing except food and clothing. The migrants also have to guarantee that they will never disclose their entrance passage and broker's identity to anyone, nor contact the human trafficker in future.
One has to cross many countries while coming to the USA from Nepal. Human smugglers have a very strong network of agents in every country that they contact to make the illegal journey, from Nepal to the US, possible. The migrants are first sent to Delhi in India, to easily acquire a visa for Dubai, and meet an agent to help them get smuggled into Dubai. Another agent is kept on standby in Dubai to receive the illegal migrant and forward him to Ecuador, by contacting another agent there. In some cases, smugglers send people straight to Dubai from Nepal.
The route to Ecuador may vary through different brokers. While some migrants get smuggled to Ecuador from Dubai, through various countries, others go through Singapore. Generally, it takes between three months to a year to reach Ecuador from Nepal. There are instances where some of them are arrested in Singapore and Dubai even before reaching Ecuador, and deported back to Nepal from there.
It's not possible to illegally enter Ecuador because of the strict air border controls. Nepali brokers make visa arrangements through countries that have easy access to Ecuador's visa as reaching Ecuador would mean getting through the first door for illegal human trafficking into the United States. Generally, air traveling ends after a migrant enters Ecuador on a 3-month tourist visa and therefore, all travelers destroy their Passports upon their arrival. From here onwards, no one is allowed to carry any identification documents with them.
After reaching Ecuador, in South America, Nepali brokers arrange to smuggle people to Columbia with assistance from their foreign partners. It is from Columbia, that the journey towards Mid-American countries starts. The brokers then make arrangements for a transfer from Columbia to Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, from where the journey towards North America begins. The migrants are completely handed over to foreign brokers once they arrive in Mexico, who steer them through Mexican jungles to smuggle them into Texas. The whole journey from Ecuador to Texas takes at least three months and may extend to as long as a year.
Revealing the Jeopardy
In spite of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for the transfer, entering the US borders is not an easy process. There is not only a risk of getting caught on the way and getting deported to Nepal, chances of losing your life also run high. Regardless of the fatal threats, many Nepalese choose to become a part of this deadly setting and go as far as selling their homes and lands, and displacing their families, to pay the required amount to human trafficking brokers.
While entering the USA from Ecuador, the path gets even more dangerous when the migrants have to walk through jungles, lakes, streams, sea, and deserts. Owing to the chances of getting caught by air patrols, it is unsafe to travel in daylight, due to which the jungles are crossed after dark with a constant fear of being eaten by their wild inhabitants.
Their ordeal does not end once the migrants reach Mexico. Getting shot by an air patrol of the American forces poses a potential risk while crossing the Mexican border to get into the USA. Trying to cross the maritime boundaries between North and South America in a boat involves serious risks of getting lost or losing one's life at sea. Getting killed at sea may not only mean an irrecoverable dead body, but also, chances would be slim of ever knowing if the person is alive or not. There have been many reported incidents of boat capsizes and lost vessels on American sea borders due to the wild nature of the waves.

When a person attempts to illegally enter the US through Mexico, he does it without any guarantee of his life. There is no assurance of who may get killed, let alone any knowledge on how and when. While most of the dead bodies stay undiscovered, those who do get salvaged, are very hard to identify and locate information for. Despite the frequency with which dead bodies continue to retrieve from different areas, the number of people who illegally enter the United States from Nepal persists to soar.
(This article is based on research and interviews.)

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