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Border surge sends prices soaring; smugglers can earn $200,000

Densus

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EXCLUSIVE: Border surge sends prices soaring; smugglers can earn $200,000

https://www.washingtontimes.com/
By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Article:

This is the first in a three-part series.
Victoria Perez spent 10 months as a migrant smuggler. When agents finally caught up with her, she told them she had made $200,000 over that time, working two days a week, driving migrants through a Border Patrol highway checkpoint near El Paso, Texas.
She charged $1,500 per person when the checkpoint was operating but only $600 when the checkpoint was closed because the risk was low and the roads were wide open, she told agents.
The $200,000 she earned for what was essentially part-time work exceeds the annual salary of a member of Congress. It works out to three times the starting pay for a Border Patrol agent.
Perez was, in essence, a gig worker, contracting herself as a driver for a much larger organization.

It has become an accepted part of border wisdom that the surge of illegal immigrants is enriching the cartels. That’s true to some extent, but most of the money ends up not in the hands of the Gulf Cartel or Zetas, but in the pockets of people like Perez.
And 2021 is turning into a boom year. Based on the number of migrants and the prices they are paying, smugglers are easily on track for their biggest profits in history.
“Demand is so strong that the prices are going up,” said Todd Bensman, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies who tracks smuggling tactics. “There’s huge, huge money being made right now.”
Talk to anyone familiar with the cartels, and they will inevitably start speaking in business terms. People are the product, and their families are the customers paying to smuggle them into the U.S. The cartels franchise the operations to coordinators and independent operators such as Perez.
What the cartels are selling is a vision: the American dream. People who have the cash or, more often, are willing to go into debt pay big money to chase that dream.
What the organizations bring to the table is logistics. The coordinators arrange housing, meals and transportation for tens of thousands of people each month who make the trip, and the cartels take a cut of the profit.
The Washington Times has tracked smuggling cases along the southwestern border for several years and maintains a database based on affidavits from Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and Customs and Border Protection officers. The accounts in this article are chiefly based on those interviews.
According to The Times’ data, Mexicans paid an average of about $7,900 in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic upended cross-border traffic. The average payment this February rose to about $8,900. Central Americans’ average payment increased from about $9,400 last year to $11,000. Rates have held fairly steady in the months since.
smuggler-graphic-900.jpg

Who’s getting paid?
For some migrants, the first contact with a smuggling organization begins in South America or even farther afield. Federal authorities in recent years have broken up several smuggling operations that they said specialized in guiding migrants from terrorism-tinged parts of the world such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. They travel through Brazil and then up the spine of the Western Hemisphere to reach the U.S. border.
Most of the migrants, though, are likely to begin their transactions with hawkers in plazas in southern Mexico or Central America.
Victor Manjarrez, a former chief patrol agent in the Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona, sector and now a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, said the scene is like something out of Las Vegas, where street hawkers pass out flyers for shows on the Strip.
The product the smugglers are selling is the fastest or safest trip north. In some cases, it’s a two-for-one promise: If you get caught the first time, then the smugglers will give you a second attempt free of charge.
Migrants fork out payments along the trip for every bus ride, boat trip or foot guide.
Darlyn Josue Mass-Montenegro, a Honduran man nabbed in 2019 as part of a group of 23 migrants in a truckload of watermelons, gave agents the breakdown of the $13,000 tab for reaching Los Angeles: $3,000 in Honduras; $1,500 in Monterrey and $2,000 in Tamaulipas, Mexico; $1,500 to the stash house operator who kept him holed up at a car wash in McAllen, Texas; and $2,000 in Houston. The remainder was due once he reached Los Angeles.


Full Story
 

Buck

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If you get caught the first time, then the smugglers will give you a second attempt free of charge.
that's some good guarantee...always protecting the consumer

:2 thumbs up:

but, if i got caught the first time, why would I want to 'travel' through the same agent again?

seems stupid...

and let's go one step further: they're returned south of the border so fast they can easily 'prove' they were customers one time before? do they give receipts or what???
 

the_shootist

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Maybe if we just vote in some new politicians this will all change :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
 

Buck

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this is so weak, no one has yet mentioned, officially that we can't trust the vote any longer


so, we now over-look what recently happened and we go and try it again


isn't that the definition of insanity?


i'm not playing anymore
 

the_shootist

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this is so weak, no one has yet mentioned, officially that we can't trust the vote any longer


so, we now over-look what recently happened and we go and try it again


isn't that the definition of insanity?


i'm not playing anymore
We just need to generate more online petitions to the White House next time.
 

Buck

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We just need to generate more online petitions to the White House next time.
and then spend some time investigation the people who generated and signed those petitions...

it's Friday, anyone wanna bet Nancy isn't drunk already?
 

the_shootist

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and then spend some time investigation the people who generated and signed those petitions...

it's Friday, anyone wanna bet Nancy isn't drunk already?
What we really need to do is start burying our problems 6 feet deep
 

Buck

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i've already started...my wife took the photo

1623428974386.jpeg
 

the_shootist

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Cigarlover

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Inflation sucks for everyone. How are so many of these illegals getting all this cash? If they already have so much cash why bother coming to America where they will be taxed to death. And finally where do I get one of these Latina hotties. 26-32 yrs old. I could use a housekeeper/cook
 

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Inflation sucks for everyone. How are so many of these illegals getting all this cash? If they already have so much cash why bother coming to America where they will be taxed to death. And finally where do I get one of these Latina hotties. 26-32 yrs old. I could use a housekeeper/cook
Heh, living in Texas, my brother in MI keeps asking me when I will FEDEX one to him.