HomeNewsBriefMigrants Pay Up to $20,000 to Cross US-Mexico Border
BRIEF

Migrants Pay Up to $20,000 to Cross US-Mexico Border

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 9 JUL 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Heightened border security measures under the Obama administration have reportedly prompted Mexico's human smugglers to charge high prices and switch to new tactics. 

Human smugglers are devising increasingly sophisticated and expensive methods of moving migrants across the border, as Animal Politico reports.

According to one migrant who has crossed the border several times over the last 20 years, smugglers now offer a range of services priced between $3,000 to $20,000.

For a lower price, smugglers agree to help migrants jump the border fence, then walk through the US southwestern desert to safety. Those who pay more are promised original legal documents and the aid of corrupt Border Patrol agents. Other smuggling methods involve moving people by boat and small aircraft. In such cases, drugs shipments are typically smuggled at the same time, the migrant told Animal Politico. 

InSight Crime Analysis

It is unsurprising that heightened security along the US-Mexico border has allowed human smugglers to justify the high price of their services. The Obama administration has deployed record numbers of Border Patrol agents to the southwest frontier, as part of an effort to reinforce border security measures initiated under the previous government. 

As crossing the border becomes a more complex and expensive endeavor, it is likely to further attract the attentions of organized crime groups. Many groups already play a role in the human smuggling trade, and this only looks set to increase.

Criminal organizations like the Zetas are known to charge human smugglers a tax in exchange for permission to move people through their territory. Criminal groups are also known to target migrants when moving from Central America through Mexico. In an interview with the AP earlier this year, one migrant said that criminal gangs were considered the real threat during the journey, not immigration enforcement bodies like the Border Patrol. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 14 APR 2022

government searching for solutions to prevent extinction while trying not to lose the favor of local anglers.

COCAINE / 23 MAR 2022

The United States government has ramped up its pursuit of one of Guatemala’s most enduring drug clans – the so-called…

HOMICIDES / 4 MAR 2022

Makeshift bombs and grenade launchers are now being used in battles between cartels and Mexico’s security forces in an alarming…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…