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Report: Border smugglers earned as much as $14 million a day last month

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U.S.-Mexico border traffickers made as much as $14 million a day last month, Fox News has reported.

“Trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry,” said former Tucson Border Patrol Chief Roy Villareal. “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.”

Immigrants pay smugglers a fee to cover transportation, food, shelter and a guide to get over the border. In some cases, the fees also cover transportation to a place of employment where the worker is expected to remain for years.

Sen. Roger Marshall said last week that cartels are making more money on smuggling migrants through the border than they do moving illegal drugs. Marshall claims that cartels are charging Central American families anywhere from $3,000-$9,000 to get into the U.S.

Marshall blamed President Biden’s reversal of Trump administration policies which include the ‘Remain in Mexico policy’ and border wall construction.

Marshall said President Biden’s reversal of Trump administration policies, including the ‘Remain in Mexico policy’ and border wall construction, are to blame for the record number of immigrants arriving at the border.

U.S. taxpayer costs for the border crisis continue to spike, costing $5 million a day, according to a 2019 figure by the Health and Human Services.

Last week, the Biden administration set aside $86 million to pay for hotel rooms for homeless migrant families near the southern border.

According to data released by the Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrants crossing the southern border more than doubled between January and February of this year.

Around 7,000 migrant families were caught in January compared to nearly 19,000 migrant families caught in February. Additionally, unaccompanied children and single minors caught crossing the southwest border increased from 5,694 in January to 9,297 in February.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Immigration

Border officials find ‘sophisticated’ drug tunnel with rail system, electricity, from Tijuana to San Diego

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Earlier this week U.S. authorities announced the discovery of a “fully operational” and “sophisticated” tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border, reaching from Tijuana to San Diego.

Authorities confirmed 1,700-foot tunnel that ends in a San Diego warehouse near the U.S. Border Protection Otay Mesa Port of Entry was used to traffic drugs.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman said the 61-foot deep and four feet across at the widest part was complete with “reinforced walls, a rail system, and electricity for ventilation.”

Authorities stated a whopping $25 million worth of drugs were seized form within the tunnel over the weekend. Fox News reports that among the drugs were “1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of meth, and 3.5 pounds of heroin.”

Authorities found the tunnel after surveilling a truck that was going to and from the warehouse with large boxes. “In a span of a few hours, agents watched five vehicles come and go from the stash house and this warehouse, we allege that the defendants were driving into the garage and loading or dropping off cardboard boxes full of drugs to further the movement or distribution of drugs throughout the United States, the federal agents were watching the whole time,” Grossman said.

After raiding the warehouse, authorities found no other drugs, but did spot the tunnel opening carved onto the floor.

“There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” Grossman said. “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”

Fox News reports six California residents, aged 21 to 55, were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine, meth, and heroin. “Together with the Mexican government, we have been collaborating in trying to eradicate these tunnels, which should not exist because that is where a lot of crime happens, and a lot of the suffering that we see,” U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar told the news outlet Zeta. “This needs to stop.”

Fox News adds “authorities said that drug-smuggling tunnels are not uncommon. They are usually used by drug smugglers to evade authorities and transport a large quantity of drugs. More than 15 tunnels have been found since 2006, officials said.”

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