WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Smuggling illegal immigrants across the U.S. border has become a billion-dollar business under the Biden administration.
A report published Monday by the New York Times estimates cartels and coyotes currently earn $13 billion per year, compared to $500 million in 2018.
"The enterprises have teams specializing in logistics, transportation, surveillance, stash houses and accounting — all supporting an industry whose revenues have soared to an estimated $13 billion today from $500 million in 2018, according to Homeland Security Investigations, the federal agency that investigates such cases," reported the Times.
For years, individuals called "coyotes" have been in the business of smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States, but the smuggling business became very profitable in 2019 when cartels reportedly took over the industry.
Acting Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Patrick Lechleitner told Congress last year the involvement of cartels has led to an immediate surge in illegal immigration.
Republican lieutenant governor Dan Patrick predicts at least "2 or 3 million have come in illegal" [sic] this year.
The Biden administration's border chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, testified in April that the border's "gotaway" policy has enabled over 389,000 illegal immigrants to evade arrest and cross the border throughout the 2021 fiscal year.
"Gotaway" is a term for an illegal immigrant that is seen crossing the border by border patrol agents or on surveillance cameras but is not apprehended and deported.
The Department of Homeland Security reported approximately 900,000 gotaways have entered the country during the Biden presidency.
During the Trump era, the USCCB harped against negative views on immigration, denouncing the southern wall, mass deportation and other America-First policies. And while cartels and coyotes are reaping copious profits from illegal immigration, the bishops' conference has also cashed in on the epic tsunami of immigration.
As Church Militant reported previously, the USCCB gets tens of millions of dollars from the government every year to provide refugee and migrant services. Nearly 39% of the USCCB's budget in 2016 came from government contracts tied to immigration services worth more than $95 million.
Earlier this month, USCCB leaders praised a June 30 Supreme Court decision that allowed the Biden administration to end the Trump-era migrant protection protocols (MPP), typically referred to as the Remain in Mexico policy. This policy forced illegal immigrants to wait in Mexico until immigration officials could decide whether they qualified for asylum.
The U.S. bishops' migration chair, Aux. Bp. Mario Dorsonville of Washington, in June called for so-called ongoing immigration reform.
"This is the beginning, not the end. We still need a well-organized process at the border that people can trust," Bp. Dorsonville explained.
Likewise, El Paso Bp. Mark Seitz, who'll take over as migration chair in November, praised the high court ruling, saying, "We'll take whatever small progress that can come our way in the midst of a very broken system."
Despite some celebrating a wide-open path into the country, the dangers associated with illegal immigration persist. In June, 53 illegal immigrants gruesomely died in the back of a tractor-trailer in the San Antonio heat after crossing the border.
And that wasn't a one-off tragedy. According to Tom Homan, former ICE director, nearly 700 lives have been lost thanks to lax policies of the Biden immigration. Homan questioned why there is no mass outrage over illegal immigrants dying on American soil in record numbers under Biden's administration.
The former ICE director also suggested there has been a surge of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) illegally entering the country. Compared to 76,020 in 2019, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has apprehended a shocking 144,834 UACs in 2021.
Youngsters who do make it in are often used for sex trafficking, child slavery or for smuggling drugs, weapons or other minors into the United States. A child is said to be worth around $3,200.
The Biden administration's refusal to enforce what's called Title 42 on UACs seems to be the reason behind the massive uptick in minors immigrating to the United States.
Title 42 was launched under President Trump along with other COVID measures. It allowed the government to turn away illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, even if they were seeking asylum, to slow the spread of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases potentially coming into the country.
Senior advisor to Trump, Stephen Miller, had advocated for Trump to enable Title 42 as a way to ease immigration as early as 2018, according to the New York Times.
According to a Washington Examiner report, illegal immigrant deaths have reached an all-time high this year.
"Since the start of the federal government's 2022 fiscal year last October, authorities have found 609 bodies on the U.S. side of the southern border, according to internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection data obtained by the Washington Examiner and confirmed by three federal law enforcement officials," the Examiner reported.