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Headline: Immigrant Smuggling Ring Busted


Authorities in Phoenix deployed a series of raids yesterday, arresting the alleged leaders of a ring that helped transport hundreds of people to way stations in Phoenix. The authorities described this ring as one of the more complicated operations that bring thousands of people across the border into Arizona. The state has more illegal crossings than any other. Police said that they regularly find houses with dozens of people being detained by smugglers until they've paid for their passage from Mexico.

In simultaneous operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, in conjunction with the Maricopa County sheriff, announced the arrests of more than 100 people suspected of being in the country illegally who were also on probation for various crimes. In total, the authorities made 20 arrests, including two Cubans thought to be directing the operation. They also detained 210 illegal immigrants and discovered 13 "drop houses" that serve as way stations for smuggled immigrants. In all, the authorities planned to arrest about 75 people.

What do you think about this? Are Phoenix authorities unfairly targeting illegal immigrants — or are they protecting them from exploitation at the hands of the smugglers? Are raids called for?

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