Daily Caller

Human Smugglers Made Up To $2.3 Billion In Year From Smuggling Illegals Into U.S., Study Finds

Peter Hasson on April 23, 2019

Illegally smuggling Central American migrants into the United States is an industry that may be worth billions of dollars, according to a new study released Monday.

Human smugglers transporting migrants into the U.S. from Central America’s Northern Triangle — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — brought in an estimated $200 million to $2.3 billion in revenue in 2017, according to the study.

The study, conducted by the RAND Corporation on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), also found that criminal cartels don’t directly oversee much of the smuggling, though they do profit by charging smugglers a tax for traveling through areas under their control.

“We learned that human smuggling involves many different types of actors and that we could not credibly distinguish most criminal organizations’ activities and revenues from those of other actors, including ad hoc groups and independent operators, that engage in human smuggling,” RAND economist Victoria Greenfield, the study’s lead author, said in a release.

“Actors that engage in human smuggling range from independent operators, to ad hoc groups, to loose networks, to more-formally structured networks, such as [transnational criminal organizations],” Greenfield added.

The study’s authors found that the lack of formal structure in human smuggling networks may make it harder to thwart them.

“A key finding of this report is that human smuggling involves many different types of smugglers, or ‘actors,’ with organizations that are often informal and based on relationships instead of well-established hierarchies,” the authors wrote.

The authors suggested that DHS do more to focus on tracking payments to smugglers from the U.S., noting that “many migrants only make their final payment to smugglers after they arrive in the United States.”

“DHS might consider expanding existing efforts to investigate these kinds of payments, including working more closely with formal and informal banking services, to identify suspicious payments. DHS could also consider expanding current efforts to work with foreign law enforcement partners,” the authors continued.

“As noted above, to the extent that human-smuggling networks are hierarchical, their leadership is almost always foreign-based. This means that DHS must work with foreign partners to effectively sanction the individuals involved.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Daily Caller

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

View Comments

  • Georgie and the United Nitwits are involved in getting the "refugees" to the border but at that point it seems the cartels are trying to keep the borders open by paying the DNC somehow. Again, this is speculation but seems reasonable to me.

  • Now that is one of the most interesting pieces of information I have heard to date.I have always thought that it was geo soros,an ex natzi,who is actively attempting to destroy the United States.This information seems worth while looking into??

  • El Chapo stated during his "closed door trial" that he had been giving millions per month to US politicians and US media heads to serquester public knowledge of his drug trafficking into the US

  • There seems to be growing suspicion the cartels are greasing the pockets of democrats to keep the border open. Now, whether it is the cartels or the democrats who grease the pockets of rinos, I don't know.

  • Can you imagine? The democrats hate free enterprise yet here is a great example of how some "enterprising" people make a living by smuggling future democrats into the country which wouldn't be possible without free enterprise.

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