‘Very Safe Because We Work With Cartels’: Alleged Border Smuggler Reveals Business Profits - Report

© REUTERS / JOSE LUIS GONZALEZMigrants from Central America are detained by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent after crossing into the United States from Mexico, in Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S. July 15, 2021
Migrants from Central America are detained by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent after crossing into the United States from Mexico, in Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S. July 15, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.12.2021
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Since the new administration came into office in January, the US has faced a strong migration influx amid President Biden's eased border policies. Data from October showed that at the end of this fiscal year, the number of border arrests exceeded the record year of 1986, with the total figure standing at 1.7 million.
Smugglers that help illegal immigrants cross into the United States usually earn up to $20,000, Fox News reported Saturday, citing the confessions of an alleged smuggler, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to the man, the lower price paid just for being brought to the other side of the border stands at around $1,500.
But smugglers also offer additional services.
"If you want to go to Houston … it depends on if you can walk or take a trailer for a vehicle. Trailer is between $5,000 and $7,000 for a person," the source said. "Trailer is much better and more secure because it's a long way to walk."
According to him, if an illegal immigrant wants to walk to Houston from the border, he would have to walk over eight hours a day for three days.
"We make a lot of money. I don't understand how people sell their houses and everything to get to the American Dream," he continued. "I do it mostly to help people, but yes, we earn a lot of money."
He pointed out that the smuggling process is safe "thanks" to the Mexican drug cartels.
"The cartels ask us for money, and they give us a code, and they take care of us, and that's how we take care of people here," he added. "Actually, Ramos is very safe because we work with cartels and nothing happens to people."
According to the source, cartels watch for immigrants when they cross the border because they work “like a guide that goes on the way with the migrants” and in case of danger, migrants turn back and cartels “take care of them” so nothing “happen[s] to the immigrating people.”
The source also added that some immigrants spend from $15,000 to $20,000 to cross the border, and the profitable business is not likely to decline in the nearest future.
"We make a lot of money. I don't understand how people sell their houses and everything to get to the American Dream," he continued. "I do it mostly to help people, but yes, we earn a lot of money."
In October, the US Customs and Border Protection witnessed a record-breaking number of migrant arrests for the last fiscal year. Over this period, border agents arrested 1.7 million illegal migrants. More recent data from last month showed 173,620 total detentions, a 5 percent increase after three straight months of decline.
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