El Centro, CA Nov. 30 - With technology evolving, the use of cell phones has become a clever way for migrant traffickers or coyotes to guide illegal immigrants across the U.S. Mexico border.
Rick Sandoval the Assistant Special Agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in El Centro says, "When talking about alien smuggling it's always a cat and mouse game and every body is all into technology now. So, one of the things that we found is the use of GPS and cell phones."
By using GPS technology on a smart phone traffickers are able to use elevated locations like these mountains to guide illegal's across the border. Special Agent Sandoval says, "By giving the smuggler a cell phone he can direct and bring in the aliens from Mexico into the U.S. an when apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol or ourselves then we've got the illegal aliens but don't have a smuggler because the smugglers on the phone and he's in Mexico.
Sandoval says despite the challenges they face with no coyote present, the smugglers aren't beating them at the cat and mouse game. He says, "It's pretty ingenious but obviously if we are catching illegal aliens we are arresting the illegal aliens then their losing money."
With the help of one phone application called the Transborder Immigrant Tool created by a University of California San Diego professor immigrants can now be directed to safe routes where water clothing an blankets are found.
Agent Sandoval says they don't want anyone to die but assisting in illegal acts is against the law and those using technology to assist aliens will face consequences. He tells News 13 If the law says they can't come in then were going to go discourage them or apprehend them and if we find anybody that's out there assisting we will process as the law dictates to us."
Homeland Security Investigations says as the new method of crossing the border evolves they expect many more arrests will be made utilizing the new technology.