Border ‘czar’: Cartels making more trafficking humans over drugs into US
by Paul Bedard
Criminal Mexican cartels now make more money trafficking people across the U.S. border than they do selling drugs, according to President Trump’s pick to be the first-ever national “border czar.”
What’s more, said Thomas Homan, the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, cartels apparently prefer moving humans because the legal consequences aren’t as bad if they are caught.
“A lot of these transnational criminal organizations they’re moving aliens right now rather than drugs because, number one, it’s more profitable right now, and number two, the consequences aren’t nearly as high when you smuggle a person than smuggle a kilo of cocaine. So it’s a business,” said Homan.
Homan, at a conference on immigration this week, explained that cartels get rich on trafficking people from Latin America into the United States by running the smuggling operations and charging $1,000 fees just to pass through their territory.
“We all know the criminal cartels control the northern border of Mexico. Nothing happens on that border without the blessing and paying off of the drug cartels that control that area. For a criminal organization to smuggle aliens through their territory, they have to pay a plaza fee. They got to pay off the cartels. So what’s happening right now with what’s going on on the Southwest border, this humanitarian issue, is making these cartels very, very rich. We’re bankrolling the very same cartels that smuggle drugs — smuggle drugs, weapons, the same cartels that have murdered Border Patrol agents in the past. That’s who’s getting rich off all this,” he said.
But, he added, the recent deal pushed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence with Mexico has started to squeeze those cartels because Mexico City is putting more troops on the border to help slow the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
He praised the effort and said, “Mexico is stepping up enforcement and, as you see, they sent a lot of their national guard to attack the cartels, and when I say attack I’m talking about identifying and dismantling. They’re going to do it two ways. They’re going to attack the transportation infrastructure that moves these aliens from southern Mexico to northern, and they’re going to attack their financial infrastructure.”
At the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, Homan said he is open to accepting the border czar post, but said that it hasn’t been officially offered yet. Trump recently said he wanted Homan in the job, but officials are still working to create it.