The exhausting road trip stops for only three restroom breaks every 24 hours, usually at night. For food, there is one stop a day, and only at restaurants that have conspired with the smugglers. The restaurant pit stop also gives the illegal aliens a chance to eat and wash up, something they may not have done for days, if not weeks.
Eventually, one by one, the illegal immigrants are dropped at inconspicuous locations. The first stop was in Tennessee, where one of those smuggled paid $2,000 to get dropped off. The immigrants must pay up front, but hundreds and sometimes thousands more dollars are due at delivery.
A Smuggler’s City of Choice
Back on the road after the Tennessee drop, they headed to the city that never sleeps, arriving in New York City 36 hours after the road trip started.
It was the final leg of Maria's 30-day journey, and she tried her best to make herself look presentable for the family.
New York is a prime city of choice for the smugglers. Five illegal aliens are eventually picked up by relatives or friends, and there are happy reunions.
But Maria's story did not have a happy ending. Her family couldn't come up with the final payment, making the smuggler furious.
"Boy, that pisses me off, [stuff] like this," Suarez said. "The family is not even prepared. And it's, it's a waste of our time."
They waited for three hours in Times Square, but the family could not cobble together the $520 payment needed to spring Maria from the smuggler. The sobbing woman was ordered back into the van. The next stop was Houston, which had been her entryway into the United States.