From walking past decaying dead bodies to surviving on leaves and bacteria-laden water in the dense jungles of Panama City, the illegal journey to America is full of perils and life threatening dangers.
Whether or not you are tech savvy, you may have relied on YouTube for tutorials on everything from “how to fix a broken pipe” to “how to bake a cake.”
A casual YouTube search with the term “USA Donkey” would show you numerous tips and tutorials on how Indians can illegally enter the United States via Mexico.
The search would also expose you to the broad network of human traffickers and how they operate from within India to attract gullible youth toward the mirage of the American dream. The videos give details on how often these young men from Punjab, in northwestern India, undertake the dangerous journey.
But for those who may be wondering how unsuspecting youth are led to believe that they would be able to defy all systems and laws to find their way into America, one needs to also understand the modus operandi of the human traffickers who channelize these men and women into committing the unthinkable.
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The human traffickers often operate with the secret code of donkey flights, not just to the US, but also to several European countries. “Donkey” is a loose term used to describe the way by which Indian migrants can enter another country illegally. Dotted across Punjab are an unbelievable number of sham visa agents and offices. Many of these dubious agencies work by getting the desperate Indians into America by breaking laws.
Some of the videos outline how these men first connect with a visa agency that operates in the grey areas. These men and women are charged anywhere from $20,000 to $75,000. The agents fly them often to Colombia, where they meet other illegal migrants and a group is formed. The group then travels through the jungles of Panama City and cross five or six jungles over the course of a few days.
The Panama jungles are dangerous, and one may encounter dead bodies lying on the ground. The videos detail that the jungles are full of wild animals, and often illegal migrants are left with no food or water to survive. If you are lucky to make your way through the jungles of Panama, the groups then move to Costa Rica, where, once more, they have to find their way through the dense forests before they can reach Mexico, from where they have to jump over the Mexico border to reach the United States.
There are other videos such as one titled “Punjabi Family See How to Cross Border (Mexico to USA).” The footage shows families, often with women carrying toddlers in arms, slithering from a narrow opening of a huge iron door, as Mexican agents bid them good-bye. The families, with many children in tow, then cross barbed wires, as they then make their way through the deserts of America.
There are other videos showing large groups of young men sitting in a dense forest, as they fearlessly film their journey. The men are seen laughing and joking in Punjabi, surprisingly undaunted by the dangerous journey they are undertaking. There are numerous videos documenting the entire journey and other alternate routes such as entering via Panama or Guatemala.
Ironically, some of the videos have disclaimers that the journey could land one in trouble even while giving all the tips on how to find the Donkey Way.
There are also videos in Punjabi giving details on what to expect if you are thinking of reaching America the Donkey Way.
These spine-chilling videos came to spotlight after an unprecedented number of Indians trying to cross illegally to the United States were deported by Mexico. For years, the upwardly mobile, highly skilled “model-minority” in America has shrugged off the problem of undocumented Indians in America. Immigration activists have been maintaining that, almost as an underbelly to the high-skilled immigration, there exists a large number of Indians who have been defying the legal routes, or are victims of the unfair asylum system in America.
“USA Donkey,” the treacherous way to reach America, shows that India may want to take serious measures to stop illegal emigration.