Why Immigrating to the United States Is More Dangerous Than Ever

Migrants increasingly enduring abuse, horrific conditions in seeking the American Dream.

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Back in New York, Luis says he has found it difficult to get law enforcement agents to see his wife as a person worth finding. He says some local police agencies have been slow to investigate and are skeptical of his story. In a world where city, county and federal law enforcement agencies' duties are blurry, he says it's easy to get the run around.

[ALSO: In South Texas, Ranchers Increasingly Fearful of Immigration]

One local law enforcement agent who has worked closely with him, but was not authorized to speak on the record, confirmed that the case fell into ICE's jurisdiction. He also confirmed that his agency had taken down information about Marilu's disappearance and had collected photographs, and passed them along to law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

"It is pretty sad. I am pretty much one of the only [local] agents that takes some kind of report and I send them to Brooks County," he said. Brooks County is the area where many immigrants die of dehydration during their journey.

"When I get calls like this, they are so genuine. I know what is happening. Everyone knows what is happening. We know there is a criminal element that is doing this to the women," the officer said. "You hear countless stories. My wife. My sister. My aunt. My mom. It is sad. God knows how many bodies are out there that have not been recovered yet."

With such a high volume of police reports of lost immigrants, Luis says he has hired a private investigator to help him find his wife.

"Every day I ask God to help me," he says. "Seeing my children is the thing that gets me up every day. I cannot fall. I am a mother and a father to my children now."

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