By Jon Dougherty
As Congress scrambles to find a way to overturn POTUS Donald Trump’s veto of legislation aimed at thwarting his declaration of a national emergency along our southwestern border, Mexican-based cartels are paying little attention to the shenanigans in Washington, D.C.
Rather, they are using the Legislative Branch’s institutional dysfunction to streamline their immigrant smuggling operations in order to get as many people to and across the U.S. border as possible.
As reported by The Washington Post:
Criminal organizations in Mexico have mounted a lucrative new smuggling operation that uses express buses to deliver Guatemalan migrant families to the U.S. border in a matter of days, making the journey faster, easier and safer, according to U.S. law enforcement reports and U.S. and Guatemalan officials.
The smugglers entice families with promises their journey will be free of the perils usually associated with travel to the U.S. border, along with assurances that by turning themselves in to U.S. authorities they will be released into the country within days.
Paying up to $7,000 per adult with child, families are transported to staging areas at ranches and hotels in southern Mexico, where they are organized into bus groups and rushed north along Mexican highways, “stopping only for food, fuel and bathroom breaks,” according to the U.S. law enforcement documents.
The model particularly appeals to families by minimizing some of the more intimidating and unsavory aspects of traditional Mexican smuggling operations, known for cramming migrants into squalid stash houses, where Central Americans are regularly abused and extorted for additional payments. The busing system has skirted those dangers, generating few reports of violence or mistreatment, U.S. officials say.
About three days after leaving staging areas the buses arrive at predetermined drop-off points which are within walking distance of the U.S. border. Once there migrant families in groups as large as 300 simply skirt whatever barriers exist and then turn themselves into the nearest Border Patrol agents where they make their asylum claims.
The Post noted that details of the smuggling “depict an upstart, highly profitable entrepreneurial operation that is designed to exploit dysfunction in the American immigration system and U.S. court rulings that mandate families be released from custody while their asylum claims are processed.”
This helps explain the massive increase in illegal immigration figures to the U.S. that we’ve seen recently. And it also belies Democratic leaders’ claims that the president’s national emergency declaration pertains to a “fake crisis.”
The Post also notes that Mexico doesn’t seem to be doing much to help out:
U.S. officials call the system “The Conveyor Belt” and have asked Mexican authorities to help stop it. But the conveyor pattern has continued for months, part of a record-breaking surge in crossings by families that the White House has declared a “humanitarian and border security crisis.” Last month, 40,325 arrived in family groups, up 67 percent from January.
“The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency,” the president said earlier this month.
The White House has noted:
- More than 76,000 aliens were apprehended or deemed inadmissible at the southern border last month.
- There has been an unprecedented surge in the number of alien families arriving at the southern border – more than 40,000 arrived last month.
- Apprehensions of alien families have spiked 300 percent compared to the same time period in the last fiscal year (FY).
- This historic increase has put an incredible strain on resources at the border.
- As alien families arrive in record numbers, loopholes force the Government to release many of them into the interior, after which they often fail to appear in court.
- Large migrant groups are streaming to our border, with 70 groups of 100 or more migrants attempting to cross this year. By comparison, only 13 such groups attempted to cross last year.
- Violent smugglers are exploiting our laws and porous borders for their own gain.
Democrats and, thus far, too many Republicans have not only moved to block the president’s border security actions, but Congress has also failed to address asylum loopholes currently being exploited by the cartels.
Congress is not expected to muster the votes to override Trump’s veto of legislation barring him from declaring is border emergency, but without substantial changes to U.S. asylum laws there may not be much else he can do outside of ordering the construction of miles more border wall.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10