Nielsen: Crime cartels make $500 million a year smuggling migrants into U.S.

by WorldTribune Staff, June 17, 2018

Smugglers who “prioritize profit over people” are raking in some $500 million a year bringing illegal aliens into the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. / Reuters

“To be clear – human smuggling operations are lining the pockets of transnational criminals. They are not humanitarian endeavors,” Nielsen told the the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week.

“And when aliens pay them to get here, they are contributing $500 million a year – or more – to groups that are fueling greater violence and instability in America and the region.”

Homeland Security reported last year that illegals were paying the cartels an average of $8,000, and up to $25,000, to smuggle them into the U.S.

A surge in illegal aliens entering the U.S. in the past few months has offset gains made in the early part of the Trump administration, reports say. Nielsen said economies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are growing and homicide rates are falling, but that the booming U.S. economy and lack of enforcement of American laws are contributing to an increase in illegals crossing the border.

Homeland Security in instituting a zero-tolerance policy at the border, Nielsen said, adding that anyone who attempts to enter the U.S. illegally or makes a bogus asylum claim will be referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

“This is not and should not be a partisan political issue. The past four presidents have pleaded with Congress to act on this security challenge,” she said. “But this administration is tired of waiting.”

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