Portugal: The Hard Way to France

Under the false bottom of a rattling old truck sprawls the little group of terrified men wedged head by foot, unable to move, forbidden to speak, scarcely able to breathe. Inches below, the well-worn tires jounce over a foreign road. Inches above, the cargo of pigs and sheep shifts nervously with every bounce, their hooves clattering on the floor, their droppings seeping through it.

There are easier ways to get from Portugal to France, but none more popular—or expensive. The truck is the next-to-last leg of a sordid underground railroad traveled every month...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!