Sen. Graham Exposes Increase in Human Smuggling Fees as Demand Explodes

Says US border long past breaking point

Image Credits: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

The United States immigration system is long past its breaking point amid a crisis driven by the lucrative business of human trafficking, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned at a border security hearing on Tuesday.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan arrived to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the catastrophic migrant surge on the U.S. southern frontier and to discuss legislation proposed by Sen. Graham titled, “The Secure and Protect Act: a Legislative Fix to the Crisis at the Southwest Border.”

Sen. Graham opened the hearing by presenting charts detailing the fees human traffickers charge migrants depending on their preferred method of entering the U.S., and their respective increases in recent years to match an explosion in demand.

“The word is out in Central America… that if you make it to America, your chances of staying are pretty darn good if you ask for asylum or bring a minor child with you,” Graham said.

“How much does it cost to cross the border? In 2016, it was $3,000 to $8,000, and in 2017, it was $8,000 to $16,000, walking through the mountains. If you take a boat, it’s gone from $10,000 to $20,000. Small plane, $16,000 to $30,000. A vehicle utilizing documents belonging to another person is $20,000 to $25,000. A vehicle utilizing an accomplice immigrant agent is $20,000 to $25,000.”

“The market shows the demand has increased, the prices are going up, and people are walking through hell to get here, dealing with smugglers of every known fashion,” Graham continued.

Later in the hearing, Graham echoed a warning issued by Acting Secretary McAleenan months ago, asserting that the border has effectively collapsed as hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants pour across from Central and South America, Mexico, and even Africa.

“There has to be a breaking point,” Graham said. “We’ve reached the breaking point at the border. I cannot imagine what it’s like to go to work every day, where half the people are dedicating their time to dealing with family members, minors, and all that goes into trying to deal with 600,000 people in your custody.”

“The breaking point has long passed at the border. This is not sustainable.”

Reports of migrants that may be carrying ebola are now being confirmed and the result may be a form of medical tyranny such as forced ebola vaccinations.

Dan Lyman: