Smugglers are earning up to $1.7 billion a year for sneaking thousands of migrants into the United States illegally thanks to the Biden administration’s open borders policy.
A Migration Policy Institute report revealed that Central American migrants alone have boosted the finances of criminal gangs with hefty payments to make the journey to reach the country illegally.
“Among the population of migrants who hired a smuggler, Guatemalans are estimated to have spent an annual average of USD 1.1 billion total, Salvadorans to have spent about USD 350 million, and Hondurans to have spent USD 260 million,” the report said.
According to estimates, the average cost per migrant to hire a smuggler to cross the border is $7,500; while it takes $4,500 to enter legally or $2,500 to enter illegally alone or in a caravan, the NGO reports.
“Since 2018, migrants traveling irregularly from Central America have organized caravans more frequently to provide protection and pool resources during the journey, especially along the most dangerous segments of migration routes,” the report says.
Smugglers, who have made a business of it, now offer “packages” of their services, covering more than one attempt at entry in case the person is deported.
Open borders policy: record number of illegal migrants
The “open borders” policy, which Biden has described as “compassionate,” has led to a record increase in illegal immigrants and children abandoned at the border. Added to this is the increase in human trafficking controlled by drug cartels and other criminal organizations.
In an exclusive interview for El American, David Grantham, a national security and counterterrorism expert on border crises, explained that smugglers not only profit from illegal migrants, but also maintain contact with them so that they sometimes commit crimes in the United States as well.
“Current border policies give criminals opportunities to exploit the needy from cradle to grave. They charge them thousands to cross the border, in conditions where food and water are scare, rape and other assaults occur, only to have those same people exploited,” he said.
The number of illegal migrants entering the United States soared to record levels in the last 35 years. Official CBP data show that during fiscal year 2021, authorities apprehended more than 1.7 million illegal migrants.