I’ve read several arguments lately about the situation at our southern border that are misinformed. The problem lies in confusing human smuggling with human trafficking. Both are criminal behaviors, but they have very different effects on and outcomes for the people being moved.
Those that are transported by human smugglers are being moved across the border voluntarily, often paying a large sum of money for assistance in getting past border patrols. Victims of human trafficking are moved against their wills.
Human smuggling ends when the people have either crossed the border successfully or have been apprehended. Human trafficking continues long past the border. Usually all passports or identification papers are taken from trafficking victims, and they are forced to do whatever their captors, or those they are sold to, tell them to do, often under threat of violence or exposure to authorities. This may continue for years or a lifetime, which is why I refer to these victims as modern day slaves.
Here’s a link for more information from ICE on how to distinguish smuggling from trafficking. ICE report