There are plenty of reasons why the southern border of the United States needs to be more secure, and a new study has now quantified one of the most prescient problems that we face there.
We often look at the southern border mess as a humanitarian crisis. Not only have so many migrants come to our country that they’ve been forced to live in detention centers for weeks or months while being processed, but the journey to illegally cross the American border often involves dangerous liaisons with “coyote” smugglers, terrible weather, and rugged terrain.
But there is another crisis at the southern border, and it’s making ruthless Mexican drug cartels rich.
The cartels and coyotes are earning $13 billion a year by delivering economic migrants to U.S. workplaces via President Joe Biden’s welcoming border agencies, the New York Times reported Monday.
And there was a rather large difference when Trump was in charge.
The current revenue is 26 times larger than the $500 million the cartels earned under President Donald Trump’s low-migration policies, according to the July 25 report.
The key news was buried in the fourteenth paragraph, long after the lede’s focus on a 2014 smuggling crime:
“For years, independent coyotes paid cartels a tax to move migrants through territory they controlled along the border, and the criminal syndicates stuck to their traditional line of business, drug smuggling, which was far more profitable. That began to change around 2019, Patrick Lechleitner, the acting deputy director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told Congress last year. The sheer number of people seeking to cross made migrant smuggling an irresistible moneymaker for some cartels, he said.
“The enterprises have teams specializing in logistics, transportation, surveillance, stash houses and accounting — all supporting an industry whose revenues have soared to an estimated $13 billion today from $500 million in 2018, according to Homeland Security Investigations, the federal agency that investigates such cases.”
Given what we’ve already seen from “border czar” Kamala Harris, it isn’t likely that this issue is going to be resolved any time soon.