Hipólito Acosta

Author Hipólito Acosta joins us this week, talking about his new memoir, DEEP IN THE SHADOWS, UNDERCOVER IN THE RUTHLESS WORLD OF HUMAN SMUGGLING (Arte Público Press, March 2017).

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Hipólito Acosta was born to a family of 17 in Southwest Texas. He grew up working in migrant fields and rose from Border Patrol Agent to District Director of the INS at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Hipólito’s 30-year career found him chasing down human traffickers from Ecuador to England, getting himself smuggled across the border in a sweltering truck full of undocumented immigrants, and working undercover to take down cartel-affiliated drug lords. Hipólito became one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Heading a district that covered forty-two countries, Hipólito oversaw high-profile investigations and successful undercover missions involving illegal operations in Central America, Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East.

Hipólito’s third memoir is DEEP IN THE SHADOWS, UNDERCOVER IN THE RUTHLESS WORLD OF HUMAN SMUGGLING. It was published in March by Arte Público Press.

As an expert in the field of immigration and alien smuggling, Hipólito has been interviewed on ABC, CNN, NBC, NPR, Voice of America, Telemundo, and Univision Television. During his INS career, he was featured on every major network news outlet, from the BBC to Fox News. Articles have been published featuring Hipólito in dozens of newspapers including: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Financial Times, Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer, Dallas Morning News, El Norte, Houston Chronicle, La Jornada, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Star Tribune, and Arizona Daily Star. A recent article on Hipólito appeared in Texas Monthly.

His second memoir, THE HUNT FOR MAAN SINGH (with A.J. Irwin)came out in 2016 with Arte Público Press.

His first memoir, THE SHADOW CATCHER (with Lisa Pulitzer) was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012.

Hipólito is the recipient of the Newton-Azrak Award, the highest honor given by the U.S. Border Patrol to individuals for bravery and heroism in the line of duty. He served as District Director, US Citizenship & Immigration Services under the Department of Homeland Security until his retirement in 2005.

Hipólito now lives in East Texas with his wife, Terrie. They are parents to a daughter and three sons.

ABOUT Deep in the Shadows, Undercover in the Ruthless World of Human Smuggling

“You have a lot of enemies, Hipolito. I heard rumors in jail that some of the people you busted are going to try to kill you, so you better watch yourself.” U.S. Special Agent Hipolito Acosta had put lots of thugs in jail, but the death threat from an imprisoned convict was still a shock.
This exciting memoir of a life spent in pursuit of human traffickers is an eye-opening look at smugglers and other criminals involved in the sale of counterfeit documents, narcotics and weapons.

Acosta recounts his often-dangerous exploits as a law enforcement agent over more than 30 years, which frequently included going undercover as a human smuggler or an undocumented immigrant. He targeted those who took advantage of immigrants, stuffing them into car trunks for hours-long drives from the border to the north; counterfeiters who, for the right price, provided false social security cards and other papers; and even corrupt agents who earned significant financial rewards on the backs of desperate migrants.

Though catching drug dealers wasn’t in his job description, when the opportunity to take them down presented itself, Acosta enthusiastically complied even if he had to do it without the support of governmental agencies. And later in his career, diplomatic postings in the Philippines and Mexico expanded his experience with immigration issues.

This exciting memoir of a life spent in pursuit of human traffickers is an eye-opening look at smugglers and other criminals involved in the sale of counterfeit documents, narcotics and weapons. –Arte Público Press

For more information, please see Arte Público Press. You can keep up with the author on Facebook.