One of the key challenges in securing the U.S.-Mexico border is the smuggling of illicit goods and humans between Ports-of-Entry (POEs). A confluence of factors advantageous to traffickers— inconsistent levels of fencing, favorable terrain, and expansive knowledge of specific pathways— has contributed to the establishment of preferred routes of illicit transit. Although the potential pathways for illegal entry into the United States are varied, they are constrained by a number of factors that could concentrate those routes into specific corridors and chokepoints. To understand the probable pathways by which human smugglers and traffickers transport individuals from Mexico into Arizona, START developed a pilot geospatial simulation.
Behlendorf, Brandon, and Douglas Zietz, Jing Zhang, Jun Zhuang, Mila Johns. 2015. "Countering the Inhumane: Modeling Probable Pathways for Human Smuggling and Trafficking Along the U.S.-Mexico Border." May. http://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_CounteringInhumane_ResearchBrief_May2015.pdf