The illegal border-crossing industry has its own unique vocabulary.
This is a guide to some of the terms and nicknames used throughout a Motherboard investigation on burner phones and human smuggling in the US-Mexico borderlands.
("Both Nogales") a major port of entry between sister cities Nogales, Sonora, Mexico; and Nogales, Arizona
local slang for "steal," to literally "take down"; a "downer" is one who jumps guides and migrants in the desert
a guide who crosses migrants over the border on foot
locals who pick up migrants at bus stations and bring them to smugglers
the line separating Mexico from the US
the alphabet soup of US immigration and drug enforcement agencies operating in the borderlands.
cartel parlance for coveted turf, often major ports of entry like Ambos Nogales
("chicken") a migrant
("chickeneer") a human trafficker
("pointer") one who spots for polleros, often from the vantage of a hill or rooftop
teléfonos celulares de prepago / teléfonos celulares desechables