While President Joe Biden “scrambles” to address Ukraine’s border war with Russia, the U.S. border sits vulnerable to a host of criminal activity that is quickly seeping into all 50 states.
That’s problematic because in just a year and a half, Biden’s border crisis has made it increasingly easier for transnational criminal organizations raking in hundreds of millions of dollars each year smuggling migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border to become even more profitable and powerful.
The Department of Homeland Security bragged last week that there has been a “500% increase in human smuggling disruption activity compared to similar past operations” and that it has “recently surpassed 5,000 smuggler arrests.” However, those figures are but a small dent in the actual number of smugglers who have successfully escorted hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossers into the U.S. each month since Biden’s inauguration.
In May of 2018, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that human smuggling operations are making “$500 million a year, or more.”
“To be clear, human smuggling operations are lining the pockets of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). They are not humanitarian endeavors. Smugglers’ priorities have profits over people, and when aliens pay them to get here, they are contributing $500 million a year, or more, to groups that are fueling greater violence and instability in America and the region,” she warned.
More than four years later, the criminal enterprises responsible for scoping out border weaknesses and using those to funnel more than 2 million illegal border crossers into the U.S. in just 12 short months are now raking in an estimated $13 billion per year.
That means that the same cartels and criminal rings responsible for increasing corruption in Mexico now control a multibillion-dollar operation that has the funds, experience, and lack of accountability from the federal government to sustain their deadly smuggling industry for decades to come.
In recent weeks, Vice President Kamala Harris and top U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have tried to shift the blame for this influx of migrants on Republican governors who have made a spectacle of shipping migrants to blue strongholds across the country.
But the border crisis was a disaster long before migrants arrived in Martha’s Vineyard and at Harris’s residence. It was Biden’s undoing of Trump-era border security that prompted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to take that kind of drastic action in the first place.
Biden unleashed the floodgates of illegal immigration and all of the other criminal activity that accompanies it when he eradicated key border security measures such as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum-seekers to await court decisions in Mexico, and Title 42, a policy designed to expedite the expulsion of illegal border crossers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
His weak border rhetoric on the campaign trail and from behind the presidential seal encouraged migrants to begin their perilous journeys to the U.S. and to enter illegally — a fact that even illegal border crossers aren’t scared to admit.
As a result, the border has become a hub not only for human smuggling but also for the smuggling of illicit and deadly drugs such as fentanyl, which is the main culprit of the nation’s current overdose epidemic. Even people who are not connected to criminal rings have begun stashing illegal abortion pills from Mexico in their luggage to send to American women and middle-school girls in pro-life states because they know they can get away with it.
Considering most Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle immigration and border security issues, it’s no surprise that red candidates in key midterm races are calling for solutions that Democrats in the White House and Congress are unwilling to face. Whether Republicans will be successful in their attempts to curb the border “terrorists” is yet to be determined, but one thing is clear: Regardless of the GOP’s future attempts to fix the crisis, Biden’s enabling of the disaster has only been good business for smugglers who seek to profit handsomely from the exploitation of migrants.