Earlier this week, a group of mostly Central American illegal immigrants living in a "drop house" discovered by officials in South Los Angeles told authorities about the sexual assault that had been perpetrated by their smugglers. Drop houses are locations where smugglers hide hide newly-arrived immigrants and collect their sizable fees for helping bring the aliens into the country. The drop house where women were reportedly assaulted was a single-family dwelling which housed 60 immigrants, according to the Los Angeles Times, and was filled with "piles of trash and rotting food." One of the women living there has been impregnated by a smuggler, and all the denizens of the house on South Normandie "reported being held against their will and paying $5,000 to $7,000 in smuggling fees to be led across the border in Arizona. One person reported paying $12,000."
According to an AP article from 2004, "drop houses" are often "the setting for the worst abuses against immigrants, who usually aren't free to leave and sometimes are held until extortion payments are made." Right now the minors found at the house — three toddlers and six teenagers — are being held with their mothers at a private shelter. There is no word about what will happen to these women and the others who were found at the drop house. It's likely that they will be kept at detention centers or local jails for the time being, as The National Immigrant Justice Center reports that 30,000 immigrants per day are detained in this fashion.
Smugglers Sexually Assaulted Immigrants, Officials Say [Los Angeles Times]
Immigrants Face Hardships in Drop Houses [AP via Translator's Cafe]
In the Voice of Immigrant Women : They Wanted to Take Away My Baby [Vivir Latino]