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Old 06-12-2009, 08:57 AM
Coso Kid Coso Kid is offline
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Default Immigrant Smuggling Hotel Indicted

Feds say El Paso hotel used in smuggling [El Paso Times, Texas]

(El Paso Times (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jun. 11--EL PASO -- The federal government wants to seize the Gateway Hotel and is accusing its owner and some employees of harboring undocumented immigrants in a vast smuggling conspiracy.

The Downtown hotel, built in 1906, was a stopping point where immigrants who had just crossed the border illegally could stay and get clothing and food from the hotel's restaurant before being smuggled to other cities, stated a 76-page indictment issued late last month.




The indictment names the YCL Corp., doing business as the Gateway Hotel, and Song U. Chon, who authorities said is the hotel owner, along with alleged ringleaders and others.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested about 25 people accused of various roles in the conspiracy including "coyotes" (immigrant smugglers), transporters, and safe-house operators in smuggling networks dating back to 2003, said a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.


Two weeks ago, Chon, 53, was arrested by ICE agents. They also arrested Armando Arzate, who is listed as a manager on a sign in the lobby of the hotel at 104 S. Stanton.

Hotel employees allegedly "arranged with the alien smugglers to provide shelter, food and clothing to the undocumented aliens who had been smuggled into the United States," the indictment stated.

The hotel remains open. A desk clerk would not comment, saying the indictment was the owner's business.

Agents also arrested alleged immigrant smuggling ringleaders Maria Isidra Luna-Avila, aka Dona Chila, 57, of Juarez and Guillermo "Memo" Lopez-Nunez, 66, of El Paso, according to jail and court documents.

Prosecutors allege the network was so lucrative that they want Chon, if convicted, to forfeit the 100-room hotel and $1 million in illegal proceeds.

Chon, nicknamed "The Korean" in the indictment, is jailed without bond. His lawyer could not be reached for comment.

An ICE spokesman referred questions to the U.S. attorney's office spokes man, who declined to make a statement because an investigation continues.

According to the heavily redacted indictment, immigrants were led by coyotes into El Paso by crossing the Rio Grande, walking through the desert or through underground tunnels and sewers.

The crossing could be dangerous.

On July 31, 2007, Luna-Avila is allegedly heard in a telephone call discussing "that one of the runners drowned on us," referring to an immigrant who drowned crossing the border, the indictment stated.

Once in El Paso, immigrants were taken to hotels, including the Gateway Hotel, and houses until their family or a "sponsor" paid a smuggler fee of about $2,000.

The fee was for room and food at the hotel or homes.

Once the fee was paid, usually through a wire transfer, the immigrant was taken to his or her destination in cities such as Albuquerque, Los Angeles and Dallas. Immigrants were often transported in tractor-trailers, the indictment stated.

The Gateway Hotel has been a fixture Downtown for generations, most of its guests being from Mexico.

The rate for a small room is $28 a night. In recent years, the business has been the site of several undocumented immigrant round ups.

In 2004, a scene for the Disney movie "Glory Road" about the 1966 Texas Western College national basketball champions was filmed outside the hotel and made out to be rainy Seattle.

Other low-cost hotels are mentioned in the indictment, but it was not known whether anyone linked to them was accused of a crime.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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AyatollahGondola AyatollahGondola is offline
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Forfiet his property?
This guy should be on trial for his life. Conspiracy comes to mind. Why the hell are we going after such small change as far as charges are concerned. He was a smuggling conduit. Start charging these types of people with capitol offense and then watch the operators find other methods of income. Send a stronger message!!
Forfeiture
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:09 AM
Coso Kid Coso Kid is offline
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If laws concerning employers who hire illegals were enforced, there would be no immigrant smuggling hotels.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Coso Kid View Post
If laws concerning employers who hire illegals were enforced, there would be no immigrant smuggling hotels.
Sure there would be. The social services game is as big a business as employment. If they deported even half the illegals from the US, the government would have to halt or cutback payments to contractors who supply the government with paper, plastic debit cards, processing fees, all kinds of stuff. As would they have to layoff or at least find some place to house all the employees of the government that normally did things that helped get and keep the recipients of these services in the system. It's billions when you consider the food stamps, welfare cash grants, child services, lunch programs, day care, legal help, and on, and on, and on. Cutting out the employers would help, but not at all stop the smuggling. We have to do both
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:38 PM
Coso Kid Coso Kid is offline
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Employers are the draw.

I believe that scammed welfare is learned from those who came before, and that Latino Activists push it on them as a way to get on their good side and breed more future Latino activists born in America who pretend to be Mexican - generally there is no real love between the groups, even if they have the same origins.

It also makes for subsidation - illegals "work" real "cheap", but make up for it by working for cash or under an assumed identity and then are subsidized through the tax base. They can live real well on a ten dollar an hour job for cash while getting welfare, free medical, free food, and all the rest and still park that monster gas guzzling SUV in the driveway.

So, the trick is to punish employers AND ferret out and crucify whoever is enforcing the unwritten mandate down at the Department Of Social Services that illegals get a red carpet to collecting welfare while citizens who need a temporary hand up are either turned away or jump through hoops to qualify.

And nailing politicians who impede that goal has to be done as well. Bills introduced into the Assembly in Sacramento to crack down on welfare fraud in general and by illegal residents in particular don't even make it out of committee.

THAT will put people like "The Korean" out of the loop, when there is no more money to be made off of it.

Last edited by Coso Kid : 06-12-2009 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:46 PM
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AyatollahGondola AyatollahGondola is offline
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I don't think we're far apart on this, but I believe even if all jobs dried up they would still come and the politicians and big business would still help them....at our expense
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:05 PM
Coso Kid Coso Kid is offline
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Quote:
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I don't think we're far apart on this, but I believe even if all jobs dried up they would still come and the politicians and big business would still help them....at our expense
That's how it's always worked - at someone else's expense.

There was a 19th century Robber Baron who once opined that an honest politician was one that once bought stayed bought.

And come to think of it, the Aztlanistas are doing their thing "on the white man's money". And those who make executive business decisions based on whether they will have eight mansions instead of five don't have to live with what they have enabled.
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