Increased border security and control measures made human smuggling past the U.S.-Mexico Border more costly, a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report finds.
DHS data, analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), found that as the U.S.-Mexico Border becomes more secure, the more it costs illegal aliens to pay to be smuggled north. While DHS found that nearly 95 percent of illegal alien border crossers use human smugglers, the findings also revealed how the industry is becoming increasingly expensive.
For example, in 2001, the average cost of a human smuggler on the southern border was roughly $2,600 per illegal alien. Today, that figure has jumped to $3,500.
CIS researcher Preston Huennekens noted in his analysis that with the growing cost of human smugglers, foreign nationals may be more deterred from entering illegally.
“Market forces are at work — even in the illegal market of migrant smuggling,” Huennekens wrote. “Increased costs associated with crossing the border, and increased demand, have caused the price of hiring a smuggler to rise sharply. With current trends, if enforcement efforts on the border continue to increase then smugglers may find the cost of transferring migrants across the border too costly to justify. Likewise, migrants may be less likely to attempt a border crossing if they cannot afford the exorbitant fees associated with hiring a smuggler.”
In a recent interview, as Breitbart Texas reported, a human smuggler said that if President Trump’s promise to build a border wall were to come to fruition, it would make smuggling illegal aliens incredibly difficult.
“Right now, I can’t imagine exactly how [a wall would be built] but I can tell you that it would be a lot harder if they build that wall,” the smuggler said. “Really, because it’s already hard with the fence we have now.”
“It’s difficult because, to start, not just any ordinary person who decides they want to scale it can do it,” the smuggler continued. “It requires skill to get up there. And to get down, oh man, one of two things can happen. You jump and if you’re athletic you can land OK, but if you’re not you can break a foot.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.