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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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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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