Dozens of Illegal Immigrants Found Living Inside Tiny Shed in New Mexico

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 4, 2019US News
Dozens of Illegal Immigrants Found Living Inside Tiny Shed in New Mexico
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided property in New Mexico on Feb. 25, 2019. They found dozens of illegal aliens living inside a tiny stash house operated by a human smuggling organization. (ICE)

Federal immigration officers found 67 illegal aliens living in a tiny shed in New Mexico, including six teenagers there without their parents.

The stash house was found in Dexter about 18 miles away from Roswell and about 230 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said. The house was used by a human smuggling organization to put up illegal aliens who had been smuggled into the country.

The aliens included Guatemalan and Ecuadoran nationals.

Tomas Miguel Mateo, 38, of Guatemala, was arrested and charged with harboring the illegal aliens and with unlawfully re-entering the United States after having been previously deported. A photo of Mateo was not made available.

“As the deplorable conditions of this stash house demonstrate, transnational criminal organizations have no respect for human life,” said Jack Staton, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso, in a statement.

“Human smuggling is a multibillion-dollar enterprise, and the individuals being smuggled are viewed as cargo by the criminal networks. HSI continues to investigate this organization and will hold them accountable for their illicit activities.”

A picture showed a rough structure slightly above ground level with particle board sides and a flat roof. The shed was attached to an RV and didn’t have a working toilet.

According to court records obtained by KRQE, authorities said many of the illegal aliens were malnourished. The aliens told agents they’d been there for up to five days.

Further, they said Mateo controlled when they were allowed to eat, use the bathroom, and make phone calls. The broadcaster reported that a sign on the bathroom door read “Don’t Use the Bathroom.”

Mateo reportedly told agents he began working for the human smuggling operation three months ago after he himself had been smuggled into the United States.

At least 12 of the illegal aliens were detained and charged with entering the country illegally.

New York ICE operation
FILE—Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents frisk a suspected MS-13 gang member and Honduran immigrant after arresting him at his home in Brentwood, New York, on March 29, 2018.. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Illegal Immigration in the United States

Up to 29 million illegal aliens are living in the United States, according to researchers at Yale University. The researchers noted that previous estimates were all based on one survey, and they were able to figure out the true range of illegal aliens residing in the country.

The new approach the researchers used was based on operational data, including deportations and visa overstays. They combined that with demographic data, including death rates and immigration rates. The paper examined data from 1990 to 2016. It said the mean estimate was 22.1 million illegal aliens.

The current border crisis stems from large numbers of human smuggling, mostly sex trafficking.

According to a report by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration released in 2017, illegal aliens steal hundreds of thousands of legal identities to gain employment.

According to a 2018 report from the Center for Immigration Studies, births in 2014 to illegal aliens accounted for 7.5 of the births in the United States, or some 297,000. That figure is larger than the total number of births in any state other than California and Texas.

The center said the estimated 28,000 births to illegal aliens in the Los Angeles metro alone is larger than the total number of births in 14 states and the District of Columbia. About 67 percent of illegal aliens who give birth aren’t insured, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for the births. The cost for illegal alien births was pegged at $2.4 billion.


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