The southern border crisis has prompted Mexican drug and human trafficking cartels to occupy the southern border, posing a threat to the national security of the United States. According to Jonathan Lines, the senior Yuma City official, the Mexican cartels that control the border have created “a national security problem” because what has ceased to be a “political discussion.”
According to Lines, the cartels set up smuggling operations that have proven effective and lucrative, and have gradually begun to overwhelm border police because if the immigrants don’t have the money, they’re asked to cross, then they have the opportunity to deal in drugs and use it to pay off their debts rather than forgo cash.
According to Customs and Border Protection, CBP, 100 smugglers were arrested at the southern border in 2022, compared to the previous five years when there were 26 total arrests, resulting in profits from people smuggling operations that have increased in recent years.
According to Homeland Security Investigations, the industry has seized $13 billion through July, up from $500 million in 2018. And CBP seized 15,000 pounds of fentanyl along the southern border in 2022, a 206% increase from 2020.
Via Twitter, the GOP also replicated information from Homeland Security Investigations: “It is estimated that Mexican cartels now make $13 billion a year from smuggling immigrants … 26 times what they made in 2018.”
Customs and Border Protection reported encounters with immigrants rose from 480,000 in 2020 to 2.3 million last year.
For its part, The New York Times revealed that cartel fees for immigrants attempting to cross the border can range from $4,000 to $20,000.
Lines asserted that countless immigrants who came to the United States thanks to the Mexican cartels still owed them, and if he wanted to work hard for a better future for his family, he would now have to work twice as long to pay off his debt “not everyone can afford it and they come as servants.”