US

2 Get Prison for Illegal Immigrant Smuggling That Led to 2 Deaths

By The Associated Press

LAREDO, Texas—Two Guatemalan men have been sentenced to federal prison for their parts in an illegal immigrant-smuggling run that led to the deaths of two Ecuadoran men.

A Justice Department statement says 23-year-old Melvin L. Barahona-Godoy was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison on Wednesday, April 17, in Laredo, while 29-year-old Yoryi Alexis Perez drew a six and a half-year prison term.

Both had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally transport immigrants resulting in death. Both will be subject to deportation after completing their prison terms.

Border Patrol agent Richard Funke looks for footprints from illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.- Mexico border near Nogales, Ariz., on Dec. 7, 2010. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Federal officials at a Laredo residence on Oct. 21, 2017, found nine immigrants who were in the country illegally, one of whom was Barahona-Godoy.

They say interviews established that Barahona-Godoy and Perez had guided the group across the Rio Grande the previous month. Two people drowned during the crossing.

Up to 29 Million Illegal Aliens in the United States

Up to 29 million illegal immigrants are currently living in the United States, according to researchers affiliated with Yale University, with a mean estimate of 22.1 million out of the range delivered by a mathematical model.

That’s more than twice the number of previous estimates or 11.3 million illegal aliens.

The researchers said they used mathematical modeling on a range of demographic and immigration operations data. The lowest estimate based on their modeling is 16.7 million illegal aliens.

The results were published in “PLOS ONE.”

“Our original idea was just to do a sanity check on the existing number,” Edward Kaplan, the William N. and Marie A. Beach professor of Operations Research at the Yale School of Management, said in a Yale press release. “Instead of a number which was smaller, we got a number that was 50 percent higher. That caused us to scratch our heads.”

Texas_BP-Benjamin_Chasteen-8149-20170526--1200x735
Border Patrol Agents have illegal aliens remove their shoelaces and belongings before loading them in a van for transport in Hidalgo County, Texas, on May 26, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

New Model Produces New Results

Jonathan Feinstein, the John G. Searle Professor of Economics and Management at Yale School of Management, said that the figure everybody was quoting for a while appears that it might wrong.

“There’s a number that everybody quotes, but when you actually dig down and say, ‘What is it based on?’ You find it’s based on one very specific survey and possibly an approach that has some difficulties. So we went in and just took a very different approach,” he said.

The 11.3 million illegal immigrant estimate was based on extrapolation of the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.

“It’s been the only method used for the last three decades,” said Mohammad Fazel‐Zarandi, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and formerly a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in operations at the Yale School of Management.

NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.