ALEJANDRA RAMÍREZ RECALLS THAT in her first attempt to enter the United States, in October 1995, she hired coyotes (human smugglers) who did not have much experience. The journey was arduous: “They crossed about seven people, and they made us walk for three days.”1 At one point, the migrants had to cross a river with a current so strong that it dragged one of them away. After finding the man alive, they continued walking. But two hours later, the migrants' trek was cut short by immigration officials. Ramírez's story includes many of the experiences typically identified with crossing the Mexico-U.S. boundary without papers: hiring coyotes, traversing unknown territory, wading a dangerous river, and being caught and deported. Yet her story took place not in the Mexico-U.S. border region but in Veracruz, a state in east-central Mexico, 330 miles from the U.S.Mexican boundary. Ramírez was a Guatemalan transmigrant attempting to reach the United States. The officers who deported her belonged to Mexico's Migration Services.
Minian, A. R. (2020, February 1). Offshoring migration control: Guatemalan transmigrants and the construction of Mexico as a buffer zone. American Historical Review. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhz1227