The surge of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers at the southern border this year has been a major boon to human smugglers. While semi-trailers and delivery trucks are often the means used to get migrants across the border, once they get here they're using more conventional methods. A report out of New Mexico says smugglers often use rideshare companies to transport migrants to their destinations within the U.S. "Police say that in some cases, the smugglers are telling these illegal crossers to contact Lyft or Uber," says Naim Haroon Sakhia, Texas-based immigration attorney.
Uber responded to the report saying they have an internal enforcement division that works with law enforcement, while Lyft did not immediately respond to the report. Sakhia says these companies should work with law enforcement to root out this type of activity. "If it is an illegal activity which is known by the company, and they are keeping silent or actively participating in that, then definitely they will be liable for breaking federal law," he tells KTRH.
As for the drivers, they may not even know they are aiding in criminal activity. "Sometimes people who may have good intentions of helping others overlook the fact that the breaking of the law does not help anybody," says Sakhia. "Anybody who is aiding and abetting in any manner in this illegal activity must be taken to task."