My co-worker just educated me on how immigration works along the Thai/Burma border (if one making a border crossing is pulled over by the Thai police):
- If everyone (including the driver) has valid papers, they are free to continue on their journey.
- If no one (including the driver) has valid papers, everyone is arrested and has to either pay bail of 2,000 Baht per-person (~$60) or spend 14 days in prison. Assuming they aren’t arrested again in the interim, they are refunded the 2,000 Baht once seven months have passed.
- If there is a mix of people with and without papers, everyone is still arrested. Those without papers have the same choice of 2,000 Baht bail or 14 days imprisonment. if there are passengers with papers, they have a much steeper payment to face in order to avoid a jail term of seven months. Negotiations start at 75,000 Baht ($2,250, a year’s salary in these parts), and can be lowered to 50,000 Baht. If the driver has papers, he’s in even deeper water as the facilitator of the undocumented immigrant trafficking.