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The Human Coyote: A Heroic Criminal?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Coyotes as members of a Mexican mafia
  3. Coyotes and the ill-treatment of immigrants
  4. The idea of coyotes as heroes or villains
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

In all the various interrelated issues of the border, there is one central group that is essential to allowing immigrants to cross in the United States: the coyotes. Coyotes are smugglers who assist immigrants in getting across the border without getting stopped by the border patrol, or anyone else. They are almost always Mexican, and often were at one point immigrants themselves, who over time have made enough trips across the border to know the best routes to take, where they will encounter the least amount of trouble. Coyotes do provide a service to the immigrants, and this service, of course, costs money. Today the cost is much higher than it has ever been, for a number of reasons. The border patrol has increased security greatly in the past, and despite their best efforts, this has only made coyotes have a more lucrative occupation, due to the fact that coyotes are no longer a luxury, they are now a necessity (Campbell). Immigrants have almost no chance of crossing the border without a guide. The immigrants do run the risk of being abandoned, robbed, raped, or even killed by people in line with their coyotes, or by the coyotes themselves. However, some coyotes safely get people across the border. The question is then: how should we view coyotes? Are they heroes, villains, criminals, or somewhere in between? Coyotes as a collective group are criminals who are necessary.

[...] The Human Coyote: A Heroic Criminal? In all the various interrelated issues of the border, there is one central group that is essential to allowing immigrants to cross in the United States: the coyotes. Coyotes are smugglers who assist immigrants in getting across the border without getting stopped by the border patrol, or anyone else. They are almost always Mexican, and often were at one point immigrants themselves, who over time have made enough trips across the border to know the best routes to take, where they will encounter the least amount of trouble. [...]


[...] He worked in a factory for years before ever guiding anyone else across the border. El Carpintero did not plan on being a coyote, but simply fell into it. He was going back to America, and had the opportunity to take people with him along routes he had found to work well, and was paid for it. El Carpintero felt that he was providing a service, and doing something good because he was making sure that other immigrants didn't get killed (Spener 22) Although they are committing illegal activity, it is difficult to blame certain coyotes for making these choices. [...]

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