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Tipsheet

Biden's Open Border Policies Lead to a Cash Boom for Cartel Smugglers

Townhall Media/Katie Pavlich

McAllen, TX - Flanked by two machine guns, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers patrol the waters of the Rio Grande, which marks the contentious border between the United States and Mexico.

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With each turn around the bend, troopers expect to encounter cartel smugglers moving illegal immigrants across the water. Today, it's raining, and traffic for the morning has eased. In preparation for the afternoon and night runs, a cartel scout in a black car on the Mexican side continues to report DPS positioning and patrols. 

Along the banks, smugglers use landing zones to launch and dock their rafts. The illegal passengers on them wear wristbands – much like the ones seen at theme parks – marking which cartel entity they have paid and whether their payment for transport has been completed. They have different colors and serial numbers, proving the illegal travel is highly organized and extremely lucrative for criminals. Thousands are piled along the drop point, each representing an individual journey. Identification cards, COVID-19 test results and clothing are also left behind. 

"What you're seeing here on the ground of course is a bunch of different bracelets. And what these bracelets indicate is what illegal organization these illegal immigrants paid to get across," Texas DPS Lieutenant Christopher Olivarez explained to Townhall. "Just on human smuggling alone, these organizations are making well over $100 million a week just with human smuggling. It's a multi-billion trade. We're not even talking about narcotics smuggling, strictly human smuggling. And that was last year's numbers. Now, of course, the first six months of this fiscal year, we're at 1.2 million (illegal immigrants) already so just put that into context of how much these organizations are making. They're making a lot more profit now just on human smuggling than they are on drug smuggling." 

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Once they get from the Mexico side to the U.S., wristbands are ditched, and the illegal immigrants' walk to McAllen — just a short time away — begins. Many turn themselves into Border Patrol, whose agents process them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Then, most illegal immigrants – with limited exceptions under Title 42 – are placed on buses and airplanes to destinations across the U.S., closing the circle on the journey. This is the Biden administration's catch and release policy, paid for by American taxpayers. 

For cartel smugglers, open border policies have been a massive profit boom with no end in sight. 

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