Tuesday, May 15, 2018

People smuggling

Cartels make $500 million a year from smuggling illegal immigrants across U.S. border

The $500 million figure split among the "coyotes," or guides, who shepherd the migrants through Central America and Mexico to the border; the stash house operators and smugglers who transport them to their final destinations in the U.S.; and the major cartels that oversee all sides of the operation. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)Smuggling cartels are making at least $500 million a year bringing migrants into the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Congress on Tuesday, outlining the scope of the problem for lawmakers as illegal border crossings continue to surge.
Ms. Nielsen took a firm stand on the causes of the surge, saying economies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are growing and homicide rates are falling, suggesting the push factors back home should be easing. Instead, she said, the booming U.S. economy and lax American laws are enticing the flow northward.
That contradicts the narrative offered by immigrant rights activists, who have said violence in Central America has spawned the wave of illegal immigrants over the past few months, erasing gains made during President Trump’s early weeks in office and sending the rates of illegal immigration back up to the levels seen under President Obama.
“We do face a crisis,” the secretary told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in a hearing called to review her department’s budget and policies.

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