In our June 28 Facebook Live session, InSight Crime Co-Director Steve Dudley and Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos discussed how the "zero-tolerance" immigration policies of the administration of US President Donald Trump could end up strengthening organized crime.
Dudley argued that when authorities demonize entire communities, they destroy the trust necessary for people to feel comfortable sharing information about criminal groups operating in their communities, causing serious setbacks in the fight against crime.
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Dudley and Silva, both experts on organized crime in Central America, also reported that closing borders favors illegal economies like human trafficking. Because the violence people are trying to escape has not decreased, neither will the flow of immigrants. Without sufficient legal means to cross the border, migrants are forced to turn to criminal groups offering more dangerous alternatives to do so.
The experts concluded that it is imperative to seek a more holistic solution to the problem, expanding the focus to include social, economic and political factors.
Watch the full conversation below: