Undocumented Immigration

Arguments are not typically just two-sided so you need to look at all other possibilities. Your essay must examine at least 3 sides of the issue. This assignment gives you the chance to choose a topic that you care about and learn about the arguments and opinions associated with it. You will be expected to include secondary research in your essay in order to analyze the issue and make suggestions on the possibilities for change.

You need to choose a topic that is of interest to you and to a larger audience. While you can begin the process by picking a broad topic, you will need to narrow your focus to only a portion of the larger conversation. We will discuss ways to narrow your topic more in class, but be aware that this is something you should consider. As you are thinking about your topic, consider the following:

Who is the audience involved in this discussion?
What are the other issues that play a role in this argument?
What other sides to the argument are there besides the for/against arguments?
Is the topic more complex than it appears?
What questions do you want to find out about the argument?
What kinds of rhetorical devices are used?
Are you willing to consider other positions in the argument? If not, you may want to consider a different topic.

Research can be a fun and interesting way to learn more about a topic. There are many types of potential sources, and we will practice finding and evaluating sources. We will be using scholarly articles along with newspaper articles, websites and blogs to look for sources that will work for your topic and provide you with the material to create a complex argument. We will also discuss how to incorporate quotes and paraphrases from the texts while maintaining academic integrity.

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Essay Requirements

Your Inquiry 3 essay must be 1500-1700 words (not including your References page). Use Times New Roman, 12 pt font. You must have a References page. You are required to revise the content of your paper based on peer response and how you feel the paper should be revised. Editing does not count as revision (although I strongly encourage you to edit your papers before the graded draft).



Criminal activities in the global economy have increased significantly in the past two
decades as a result of technological advancement. However, the concept of undocumented
immigration has been practiced in different parts of the globe for many years. Various
individuals, organizations, governments, and other international stakeholders have presented
different arguments about undocumented immigrants. Some of these organizations have
connected undocumented immigrants with the provision of cheap labor, while others claim that
undocumented immigrants are subjected to forced labor without any form of payment (Kelly et
al., 2017). Besides, other individuals claim that undocumented immigrants are connected to sex
trafficking and prostitution.
In that regard, the primary purpose of this paper is to develop arguments on whether
undocumented immigrants cause drug trafficking. Typically, undocumented immigrants are
involved in illegal immigration, where people migrate into a country would following legal
frameworks and immigration laws. Drug trafficking, on the other hand, refers to the smuggling,
importation, and sale of narcotic drugs that are legally defined as controlled substances.
Therefore, the paper will consider at least three perspectives about undocumented immigrants
causing drug trafficking.

Undocumented Immigrants Cause Drug Trafficking

The first side of the argument is that undocumented immigrants cause drug trafficking.
Mainly, there a perfect positive correlation between immigration and drug trafficking because
the majority of illegal narcotics and other drugs enter into a country through importation. For
example, in the United States, there are thousands of undocumented immigrants from different

countries who traffic narcotics and other illegal drugs by working as couriers. In that regard,
many countries are involved in drug trafficking, and some of them have accessed footholds in the
U.S. drug market. Therefore, undocumented immigrants play a significant role in drug
trafficking. For example, Russian, Israel, and other western European drug smugglers and cartels
have been using undocumented immigrants to smuggle narcotics and other illegal drugs
(Winslow, 2016). The traffic a drug is commonly known as “ecstasy" in the United States using
illegal immigrants.
Mainly, "ecstasy" is manufactured in underground drug labs in both western and Eastern
Europe. However, trafficking drugs is not an easy exercise because many countries have
allocated a lot of resources to trap and prosecute drug traffickers. Therefore, the most appropriate
channel used by drug cartels is to use undocumented immigrants who usually traffic drugs in
commercial airliners (Kelly et al., 2017). All over the world, the United States has the highest
number of undocumented immigrants, and drug cartels take this as an advantage to smuggle
drugs. For example, thousands of pounds of drugs are trafficked into the United States, Canada,
and other parts of South America by criminal gangs from Southeast and Southwest Asia using
undocumented immigrants.
Another argument that demonstrates that undocumented immigrants cause drug
trafficking is globalization. Illegal immigration and drug trafficking have been practiced for
many years since the 17th century. However, due to globalization, drug trafficking has become a
multitrillion-dollar international business. Many governments are using billions of dollars to
fight drug trafficking. Some of the people fighting drug trafficking even say that governments
have a deficit budget to fight drug trafficking. Don Winslow says, "Billions of dollars, trying
unsuccessfully to keep drugs out of the world's most porous border? One-tenth of the anti-drug

budget going into education and treatment, nine-tenths of those billions into interdiction? And
not enough money from anywhere going into the root causes of the drug problem itself"
(Winslow, 2016). This quote indicates that the root cause of drug use is drug trafficking, which is
mainly facilitated by undocumented immigrants. In the United States, authorities have
acknowledged that drug trafficking and undocumented immigration are connected. The U.S.
attracts the most insistent, sophisticated, and ruthless drug traffickers who are undocumented
Another argument that demonstrates that undocumented immigrants cause drug
trafficking is the ability of illegal immigration fueling drug cartels in many ways. First,
undocumented immigration provides the cartels with billions of dollars to produce and growth
drug trafficking operations (U.S. Department of Justice, 2011). Due to corruption in the borders,
drug cartels pump a lot of money to border patrol agents who allow undocumented immigrants to
traffic drugs in various destinations across the globe. Therefore, drug cartels take advantage of
corrupt border patrol agents and weak security systems to move undocumented immigrants
trafficking drugs on their behalf.
Moreover, drug cartels have been using young undocumented immigrants. Using minors
in drug trafficking is not only a violation of children's rights but also unethical and uncalled for
(U.S. Department of Justice, 2011). Thus, drug cartels entice teenagers from low-income
families to serve as drug mules. These cartels know it would be difficult for law enforcers and
the criminal justice system to prosecute minors involved in drug trafficking. Innocent
undocumented immigrants are forced to report to stash houses to pay off their debts once state
agents release them.

Is There A Way Out to Stop Undocumented Immigrants from Drug Trafficking
People with personal interests in the drug trafficking business would argue that drug
trafficking a complex business to abolish. However, some individuals and organizations believe
this a way to combat drug trafficking by streamlining immigration laws. Some individuals have
even openly condemned countries that enhance drug trafficking using
immigrants.  Horowitz  condemned Mexico by saying, "Mexico has made a mistake. Alone, it
fights a war against a global phenomenon that only matters to a few. That makes the headlines in
every case because of its unusual cruelty" ( Horowitz , 2019).  Horowitz's  quote indicates how
Mexico attempts to protect drug trafficking, yet the majority of people are not interested in the
consumption of drugs. Many people across the globe have joined their governments to fight drug
trafficking that is facilitated by undocumented immigrants.
Another argument on how drug trafficking through the channel of undocumented
immigration is setting reliable immigration laws and patriotic borders patrol agents. Some people
argue that money is power and can compromise anything. Therefore, cartels with billions of
dollars will still access borders by compromising border patrol agents will money. However,
there exist patriotic citizens who are ethically guided by their constitutions and laws. Thus, it is
possible to curb drug trafficking in the borders if countries pursue interior enforcement (U.S.
Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, 2015). Also, countries can ban
sanctuary cities and end catch-and-release practices that allow drug cartels to sneak in
undocumented immigrants who traffic drugs. In New England, immigration and drug officials
argue that drug trafficking using undocumented immigrants is rampant. However, immigration
laws that allow the removal of undocumented immigrants engaged in drug trafficking can solve
both problems of illegal immigration and drug trafficking in Massachusetts and Lawrence.


Undocumented Immigrants Do Not Cause Drug Trafficking
Consequently, some individuals and organization who argue that there is no correlation
between undocumented immigration and drug trafficking. David Bier says, "77% of drug
traffickers in the U.S. are U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants" (Bier, 2019). His argument
contradicts those who claim that undocumented immigration is the leading cause of drug
trafficking. The majority of people connect drug smugglers with illegal immigrants who sneak
into countries through their borders. However, the reality it than the majority of drug trafficking
takes place at ports of entry that can only be accessed by citizens and documented immigrants. In
the U.S., the vast majority of drug traffickers are U.S. citizens who use corrupt measures to
enhance drug trafficking. The argument here is that undocumented immigrants cannot traffic
large quantities of narcotics and other illegal drugs into a country due to harsh security measures
set against illegal immigration.
The argument presented by the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2019 indicated that the
U.S. citizens hold at least 77% of federal drug trafficking convictions (Bier, 2019). Thus, the
argument here is that only a small percentage of drugs are trafficked through undocumented
immigrants. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, 69% of total narcotic and illegal
drugs were trafficked by U.S. citizens in 2012 without any involvement of undocumented
Another argument that shows that undocumented immigrants cause drug trafficking is the
location where drug trafficking occurs. Legal citizens can conceal the majority of these drugs in
legal luggage, which indicates that citizens are highly involved in drug trafficking (Orrenius &
Zavodny, 2019). In the U.S., undocumented immigrants can only sneak into the country by
crossing the Rio Grande and the deserts in Arizona. In such cases, undocumented immigrants

only sneak in small quantities of drugs such as marijuana that cannot be concealed in legal
luggage in the ports of entry.
Moreover, governments should not treat undocumented immigrants as if they coordinate
or dominate the drug trafficking business. Some countries have decriminalized the use of
marijuana, which has affected the fight against drug trafficking (Orrenius & Zavodny, 2019).
Before the decriminalization of marijuana by some countries, undocumented immigrants could
sneak in some of the marijuana. However, narcotic drugs are susceptible to drug cartels who only
trust well-connected drug networks for drug trafficking. Therefore, the decriminalization of
marijuana in some countries has shifted drug trafficking from undocumented immigrants to other
safer channels that are highly connected to drug cartels.
Another argument is that the percentage of undocumented immigrants causing drug
trafficking worldwide is insignificant. For example, any of the 7.5 billion undocumented
noncitizens could decide to traffic drugs into the United States or any other country. However,
out of all convictions of drug trafficking, only 2,910 undocumented immigrants have been
convicted in the United States (Orrenius & Zavodny, 2019). The number cannot be compared to
millions of citizens and documented immigrants who for channels of drug trafficking with drug
cartels worldwide. However, assuming that 7.5 billion people in the world can be involved in
drug trafficking is unrealistic. Nonetheless, this figure has been used to present the argument that
dispels the myth that undocumented immigrants control drug trafficking and that undocumented
immigration cause drug trafficking.


Overall, the paper has considered three sides of arguments to determine the level of
correlation between drug trafficking and undocumented immigration. These arguments have

been backed by evidence from different sources. In that regard, drug trafficking and
undocumented immigration are illegal activities that should be abolished because they pose
various dangers in society. Through these arguments, it is possible to determine how drug
trafficking occur and the role played by undocumented immigrants if any. More importantly, the
cases can be used by state agencies, security agencies, and governments to abolish drug
trafficking and undocumented immigration because they are illegal.


Bier, D. (2019). “77% of drug traffickers are U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants.” CATO at Liberty. Available
at: https://www.cato.org/blog/77-drug-traffickers-are-us-citizens-not-illegal-immigrants

Horowitz , D. (2019). “The media willfully ignores the connection between killer drugs and
illegal immigration.” Conservative Review. Available at:

Kelly, B.C., Miller, T., & Light, M.T. (2017). Undocumented Immigration, Drug Problems, and
Driving Under the Influence in the United States, 1990–2014. American Public Health
Association, 107(9): 1448–1454. Doi:  10.2105/AJPH.2017.303884 .

Orrenius, P., & Zavodny, M. (2019). Do Immigrants Threaten US Public Safety? Journal on
Migration and Human Security, 7(3): 52–61.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2331502419857083

US Department of Justice (2011). National drug threat assessment 2011. Johnstown, PA:
National Drug Intelligence Center.

US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (2015). 2015 National Drug Threat
Assessment Summary. Washington, DC: DEA Strategic Intelligence Section.
Winslow, D. (2016). The Cartel (Power of the Dog Series). Vintage Crime/Black Lizard.