Monday, August 1, 2022

Cartels Get $13 Billion a Year from Joe Biden’s Welcome for Migrants; Smuggling Migrants at the Border Now a Billion-Dollar Business

John Moore/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images
NYTimes: Cartels Get $13 Billion a Year from Joe Biden’s Welcome for Migrants:
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.
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.
The article suggests the $13 billion excludes drug revenue. --->READ MORE HERE
Christopher Lee for The New York Times
Smuggling Migrants at the Border Now a Billion-Dollar Business:
With demand for smugglers on the rise, organized crime has moved in, with cruel and violent results.
From the street, the little brown house was unremarkable yet pleasant. A bright yellow toy school bus and red truck hung on the hog-wire fence, and the home’s facade featured a large Texas lone star. But in the backyard was a gutted mobile home that a prosecutor later described as a “house of horrors.”
It was discovered one day in 2014, when a man called from Maryland to report that his stepfather, Moises Ferrera, a migrant from Honduras, was being held there and tortured by the smugglers who had brought him into the United States. His captors wanted more money, the stepson said, and were pounding Mr. Ferrera's hands repeatedly with a hammer, vowing to continue until his family sent it.
When federal agents and sheriff’s deputies descended on the house, they discovered that Mr. Ferrara was not the sole victim. Smugglers had held hundreds of migrants for ransom there, their investigation found. They had mutilated limbs and raped women.
“What transpired there is the subject of science fiction, of a horror movie — and something we simply don’t see in the United States,” the prosecutor, Matthew Watters, told a jury when the accused smugglers went on trial. Organized crime cartels, he said, had “brought this terror across the border.”
But if it was one of the first such cases, it was not the last. Migrant smuggling on the U.S. southern border has evolved over the past 10 years from a scattered network of freelance “coyotes” into a multi-billion-dollar international business controlled by organized crime, including some of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels.
The deaths of 53 migrants in San Antonio last month who were packed in the back of a suffocating tractor-trailer without air conditioning — the deadliest smuggling incident in the country to date — came as tightened U.S. border restrictions, exacerbated by a pandemic-related public health rule, have encouraged more migrants to turn to smugglers. --->READ MORE HERE
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