Report: Cartel Human Smuggling Fees ‘Skyrocketed’ Under Trump

In this Aug. 11, 2017, photo, immigrants suspected of crossing into the United States illegally along the Rio Grande near Granjeno, Texas, are held by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents. After hitting a 17-year low shortly after President Donald Trump took office, the numbers of people coming over the …
AP File Photo: Eric Gay

Smuggling illegal aliens across the U.S.-Mexico border is becoming increasingly expensive. A new report shows how the price of human smuggling has “skyrocketed” under President Trump’s immigration enforcement actions.

As Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon review prototypes of border walls to construct along the southern border, the cost of human smuggling is becoming much greater, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Now what you are seeing are people who are more desperate,” Co-Director of Princeton University’s Mexican Migration Project Douglas Massey told the Wall Street Journal. “You are paying more for more services. The cost of getting through the border without inspection has really skyrocketed.”

“As the price goes up, the number of people crossing goes down,” Massey said. “And as the price has gone up, the methods used have become more serious.”

The increase in human smuggling fees is a testament to ramped-up immigration strategies and border controls by DHS under Trump. A key tenant of his campaign was securing the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration.

The Princeton researcher’s assertion that human smuggling is becoming more expensive at the southern border is backed up by two previous Breitbart Texas reports.

In one of the reports, Breitbart Texas detailed how a human smuggler openly told USA Today that with a border wall would come increased human smuggling fees, as a wall would make crossing the border much more difficult.

Additionally, DHS data reported by Breitbart Texas showed how human smuggling fees have almost doubled since 2001. In that year, 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.

Center for Immigration Studies 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.”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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