The Coyote Along the Border




Andrade, Kimberly

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The Coyote Along the Border

Kimberly Andrade

Director: Victor Hinojosa, Ph.D.

Throughout the years, the United States’ migration policy has changed, and these changes have created ripple effects. The United States has avenues for legal immigration, but there are those who are unable to obtain legal status. In these instances, migrants may find themselves compelled to find alternative means to reach the United States. These alternative means may include finding a coyote, or smuggler, who agrees to guide the migrant across the border for a fee. With stricter immigration policy and the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border there is a higher demand for the services coyotes offer. I argue that recent changes in United States migration policy have unintentionally led to a greater use of coyotes to cross the border, and in order to address this issue, the United States’ immigration system must undergo substantial changes. This thesis seeks to first provide an overview of U.S. immigration policy. Then it will provide an analysis of migrant accounts of their journey to the United States followed by an outline of the United States and Mexico’s response to the issue. Finally, this thesis will conclude with a discussion on human rights violations and a call for immigration reform.



Immigration, Migrant narratives, U.S.-Mexico Border, U.S. Immigration Policy, Migrant stories, Clandestine border crossing, Coyotes (Smugglers), Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking