Slavery is perhaps the most dehumanizing institution ever devised by man. It reduces men and women to commodities. It strips them of their rights and their dignity. It makes them the equivalent of livestock to be purchased, stolen, and exploited.
This is what we fought the bloodiest war in American history to end. This is what Joe Biden’s nightmare policies have recreated at our southern border.
Illegal migrants arriving at our southern border are not coming as individuals or families. They do not find their way there on their own. They are moved there on an industrial scale by vast criminal enterprises. These cartels are the exact same ultra-violent organizations that pump poison into our communities and have turned cities like Chicago into war zones in struggles over the distribution of methamphetamines, heroin, and fentanyl.
The human smuggling business has been a windfall for the cartels. They are seeing profits beyond their wildest dreams. Biden has effectively erased the border. The result is a bonanza for the men who run the human trafficking business.
“Criminal organizations control the border, so they control who and what crosses the border. And that becomes a lucrative moneymaker, a revenue generator for these cartels.” said Gary Hale recently. Hale is a law enforcement and intelligence professional who now has a fellowship in drug policy and Mexico studies at the Baker Institute.
Jaeson Jones, a former Texas public safety captain, said earlier this year there’s no way to know exactly how much cartels earn in the smuggling business. “But I can without any doubt tell you that the profits they are making today are like nothing we have seen prior,” he said. “This is a major revenue stream.”
Where there is this much illegal money to be made, there will of course always be infighting. Just as cartels wage war on each other over drug trafficking territory they now wage war on each other seeking to steal human cargo and reap the profits. Increasingly, drug cartels are seizing migrants from other cartels and then holding them for ransom or simply requiring them to pay a second set of fees in order to complete their transit to the United States.
The migrants are powerless to resist. They are not people. They are commodities, to be bought, sold, or stolen.
In January of this year, nineteen Guatemalans attempting to make a border crossing were found burned to death. They were being moved by the Gulf cartel through territory controlled by the Northeast cartel. They were “destroyed” to send a message.
Cartels raid migrant camps on a daily basis “stealing” migrants in order to then ransom them back to their relatives who are already inside the United States. Mexican authorities are largely powerless to prevent this practice. Honduran migrant Lesly Pineda, a factory worker, told the LA Times that she and her 11-year-old son Joan were kidnapped with eight other migrants in July and released only after she paid a $2,000 ransom.
In late September a vehicle carrying migrants from Chihuahua City to Juarez on the border was cut off by two vehicles. The driver was shot. The migrants were captured and taken away presumably to be ransomed or forced to pay an additional fee to a new cartel in order to continue their journey. At the time of the incident Mexican police were investigating the disappearance of another 13 migrants who had been abducted. These isolated incidents are occurring against the backdrop of a much greater number of unreported abductions.
Speaking recently, Victor M. Manjarrez Jr., a former U.S. Border Patrol chief in El Paso and Tucson, Arizona, said the hijacking of cargo among organized criminal gangs was not uncommon. What was new was that instead of drugs, the gangs were now stealing each other’s migrants.
“The idea of rip-offs is most common with narcotics. We’d hear of rip-off crews across the border from South Texas, in places like Tamaulipas,” Manjarrez said. “It’s a dangerous development for law-enforcement and for the migrants because they’re essentially being treated like cargo; there’s no concern for their safety.”
The increasing prevalence of Central American, Ecuadorian, Brazilian and Haitian migrants increases the financial opportunity for cartels seeking to steal somebody else’s cargo. That’s because the first cartel has already borne the cost of getting the migrants to the vicinity of the border. The cartel stealing the migrants now has the opportunity to demand to be paid again without having to put up the initial investment in moving these modern-day slaves.
“When other crews learn of a stash house and swipe those people, they start the process again. If you already paid $5,000 or $10,000 for someone to take you to the U.S., they don’t care,” Manjarrez said. “What you’ve done as a criminal organization is reduce your overhead. What you’re getting is all the profits and none of the work. I’m afraid we’re going to see an increase of this.”
The capture of migrants has now become big business. “Hawks “or cartel spies, in bus and taxi stations and –sometimes even in migrant shelters run by NGOs – identity possible targets. Once people are kidnapped, they are told to hand over their cellphones. The kidnappers then use the phones to extort funds from victims’ family members, first threatening beatings or rape, and then if necessary, sending photographs of the victims after those threats are carried out. Those who don’t pay end up in unmarked graves.
Cartels and other organized crime groups in Mexico can make between $600 and $20,000 from each ransom. This is on top of whatever the migrants have already paid prior to being grabbed.
Many migrants are already in debt to the cartels before they are grabbed. They arrive in the United States owing large sums of money to the cartels who keep tabs on where they are going and have more than sufficient capability to reach out and touch anyone who does not work off their debt, usually at horrific interest rates.
The rise in the kidnapping of migrants means those migrants and their extended families are now subject to even higher levels of crushing debt and effectively slave labor for the cartels even after they make it into the United States.
Fortunately, for the cartels, our modern-day slavers, the Biden administration has thought of that too. Not content to simply eliminate border enforcement, the Biden team has now decided to halt large-scale anti-illegal immigrant raids on worksites. Illegals will now be free to take jobs all over the country.
Undocumented immigrants, as of 2019, already comprised around 5 percent of the labor force in the country. You can expect that number to skyrocket now.
Joe and his minions like to peddle a fantasy image of happy families of migrants coming here to seek their fortune and build new lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Biden has enriched the drug cartels, threatened our national security, and created a modern-day slave trade at our southern border.
And, there is no end in sight.