Human traffickers transporting women, children, families and single adults across the U.S.-Mexico border made around $14 million every day in February, according to border patrol sources this week.
“Trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry,” said former Tucson Border Patrol Chief Roy Villareal, Fox News reported on Monday. “A lot of these vulnerable populations use their life savings. Some are essentially indentured servants and they’re working off this debt for a long period of time. In other cases, some of these migrants are asked to transport narcotics or some form of crime to work off a different part of their debt.”
In February, the number of illegal immigrants to cross the Mexican border into the United States topped 100,000, including a surge of unaccompanied children.
According to internal CBP documents reviewed by ABC, there are 3,889 migrants being housed in a Donna, Texas, facility that is supposed to hold just 250, putting it 1,556 percent over capacity.
At least 5,000 unaccompanied children are also currently in Border Patrol custody, with an additional 10,500 being cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services, the news outlet reported.
“The Biden Administration has been an abject failure when it comes to ensuring the safety of unaccompanied minors who cross our border,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said in a statement. “President Biden’s refusal to address the border crisis is not only enabling criminal actors like human traffickers and smugglers, but it is exposing innocent unaccompanied children to illness and potentially unsafe living conditions.”
In addition to human trafficking, criminal organizations have ramped up smuggling drugs into the United States. According to recently released Customs and Border Protection Statistics, agents and officers have seized over 4,900 pounds of fentanyl in the first five months of FY21, already exceeding the total for the entirety of FY20.
On Sunday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended President Biden’s approach to the border crisis, saying, “We are encouraging families not to send their children along the dangerous journey because so many do not make it safely. We are encouraging them not to do so. Yet, if they arrive at the border, we have a responsibility to allow them to make their claims under United States law.”
According to Fox News, an appeals court recently decided that the United States is not legally obligated to accept unaccompanied migrant children. Former President Donald Trump rejected most minors from Central America – most of whom were between the ages of 15 and 17 – sending them back to their home countries.