Are people really that ignorant about what the word ‘coyote’ means in the context of border crossing or are they faking it on purpose?

15 thoughts on “Coyotes”

  1. That is truly Bizarre. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them to suddenly pretend that “coyote” was some kind of racial slur, in order to make it taboo to talk about coyotes and their role in smuggling operations.


    1. ” pretend that “coyote” was some kind of racial slur”

      I don’t know about now, but at one time “coyote” was a kind of fictional character. The actual moving people across the border was done by informal networks of people within the ‘compadrazgo’* system. Those actually posing as coyotes were more likely rateros (‘thief’ but worse) who were as likely to rob and/or abandon people who pay them as get them across the border.

      I assume now that it’s been taken over by organized crime networks (due to, among other factors, thee fact that they might be the only ones who can negotiate safe passage across drug trafficking lines).

      *pseudo kinship system to facilitate relations with people outside the extended family


      1. I had no idea it was possible for people not to know yet still have opinions on immigration. They think Trump suggested that actual animals drag children across the border. I have half of my Twitter feed debating if a coyote can carry a child and of what age. It’s sheer insanity.


        1. “I had no idea it was possible for people not to know yet still have opinions on immigration”

          I think you’ll generally find the biggest supporters of open borders know the least about how people actually move between countries…. and what happens to them along the way (and once they arrive). Those that take the time to find out are mostly very much against open borders.

          It’s kind of like the mirror image of certain pro-lifers – determined to make sure women give birth and utterly indifferent to what happens to the woman and child afterward (they’re determined for people in other countries to come to the US and they don’t care how they come or what happens to them once they arrive).


          1. With a rational system it woudn’t be so hard. Remember, most people who leave don’t have a tenable situation at home. It’s not a question of “looking for a better life” — it’s really dire stuff. Most people don’t just migrate for fun, or general preference


            1. Absolutely, 100% true. And the situation will continue to be dire for as long as the Creole elites that have been in power in Central America for a hundred years keep gaining huge profits from pushing millions out of the country and into illegality and exploitation.


            2. “most people who leave don’t have a tenable situation at home”

              Isn’t kind of a chicken and egg problem?
              A lot of times the untenable situations are the result of deep systemic flaws in the home societies – but people leaving does nothing to change that and facilitating people leaving helps insure and maintain the systemic dysfunction that pushes people out.
              If it were easy for people behind the Iron Curtain to move to Western Europe then they’d still be People’s Republics…


              1. “If it were easy for people behind the Iron Curtain to move to Western Europe then they’d still be People’s Republics…”
                Sorry to be a stickler, but I think you probably meant “If it HAD BEEN easy for people…”


        2. “half of my Twitter feed debating if a coyote can carry a child and of what age”

          In Native American mythology/folktales in the SW (presumably both sides of the present border) the name ‘coyote’ is well chosen (consciously or not). The coyote is a trickster figure with the power of transporting people between different worlds.
          In the 1980s Ursula K. Le Guin wrote a novella on that topic* – a young girl is the only survivor of a small plane crash in the SW desert. Lost, she starts following a coyote…. who ends up turning into a middle aged woman (who is still very much a coyote) and she lives for a time in a mythological world where the people are animals and vice versa. I always thought it would make a great animated feature (with teeth) but the temptation to file away the sharp edges would be too strong so it’s probably for the best that it never happened.

          *Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come out Tonight


  2. The old adage rings true: ignorance is bliss. What is sad is that our one dimensional cultural narrative produces one dimensional thinkers (if we are generous enough to give them that much grace). I have been learning about immigration because I want to fight human trafficking. I think I am learning that open boarders actually make the situation worse. And it’s my understanding that many children trafficked across our borders are not brought by their parents. Also, I want to help immigrants come to this country but I don’t know how. How do we do it practically? I’m tired of the generic border arguments. More Americans should care about these issues AND be willing to do something about it. Just like Cliff mentions that many pro-life are “indifferent to the woman and child after birth”, that is not true for me or many pro-lifers. We are passionate about the woman before and after birth. I have many friends who participate in adoption and foster care but you don’t hear that in the media (so it must not be happening). But in reality, I think this work is done at a grass roots level—one person at a time. For instance, in my community, helping people I meet and participating in non-profits who help the needy.


    1. “I want to help immigrants come to this country but I don’t know how. How do we do it practically?”

      Margaret W., I am genuinely puzzled by your question. It is NOT the job of an individual citizen or even of any self-organised groups of citizen to go about helping immigrants come to a country. Immigration is a national government issue, and immigration policies are or should be determined by the government of the day as a result of a clear political manifesto which they have submitted to the electoral body before elections.

      It seems strange to me that you, as an individual US citizen, seem to feel you have the right to put into practice policies that may not have been voted by anyone else and which are supported only by people who share your own ideological framework but not by the electoral majority who has put a government in power. Politics exists precisely for citizens to engage in so as to advance their own aims, but you have to get elected first.

      Here in the European Union we are in a scandalous and scandalously anomalous situation: immigration policies are NOT a EU matter and are, explicitly, an exclusive national issue. However, due to a bungled EU-wide treaty [the notorious Treaty of Dublin], EU (busy)bodies want to impose nefarious, and one should add, illegitimate, immigration policies on individual member states. Countries like Poland and Hungary, instead of protesting and complaining should bring in effective, Constitutionally-backed, failproof legislation explicitly prohibiting EU interference in or with their national immigration policies.

      The way that the EU has developed is that unelected and unaccountable people have become so powerful that they feel they can just come in and tell democratically elected governments what they can and cannot do under the threat of economic sanctions. This is unacceptable and should be resisted, politically, not on an individual basis.

      I suggest American readers of this blog read a very interesting article precisely on the unlikely alliance between giant corporations and befogged lefty ‘progressives’ at Tablet Magazine

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, there’s a fairly long tradition in America of helping immigrants to come to the US. Back in the 80s, many churches pooled money to sponsor Khmer refugee families to come over, and then took on the task of helping them integrate into American life once they arrived. One of my best friends got to the US that way. She was born in an Indonesian refugee camp after her parents escaped a work camp in Cambodia. That was all completely legal and above-board.

        But the Mennonites were involved for a long time in helping smuggle El Salvadoreans into the country illegally (because immigration quotas or something). They decided that these people were facing a situation so bad in El Salvador, that it was a matter of conscience to help them get to the US, and then hide them, move them, and help them get legal refugee status once they arrived. Some of them did jail time for it.


      2. Avi – I just saw this comment. I very much appreciate your perspective. I always want to help people and am looking for the best way how to do that. I am not cut out for politics so I do my best in my neighborhood community (I am a trustee for my subdivision–an unpaid, thankless position). But it enables me to connect with other people, which I love. Thank you for taking the time to educate me on these issues.


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