Human Smugglers Flocking to Arizona Over Border Crisis’ Economic Opportunity

October 5, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

The torrent of illegal immigrants defining the border crisis is drawing human smugglers nationwide to Arizona like moths to a flame. 

Last Wednesday, Operation Safe Streets with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Michigan man smuggling four illegal immigrants. Then on Thursday, their officers arrested a Florida man and woman smuggling eight illegal immigrants with drugs in the car.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that smuggling brings in up to $15,000 per illegal immigrant or more, depending on if the individual comes from further away. As some smugglers note to reporters, the cost depends on the risk — which includes distance traveled. Based on what those smugglers shared, an individual smuggler’s cut is likely anywhere from one-third to half of what the illegal immigrant pays.

Last Sunday, CBP officers arrested a New Mexico man smuggling five illegal immigrants while driving under the influence.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told “The Conservative Circus” that 926 individuals were arrested in his county for border-related crimes, 50 of whom were foreign-born. Their county jail can only hold 302 people. 

Dannels explained that the high number of Americans involved in smuggling is influenced in part by the poor state of the economy.

“As economies fail, crime increases. This is advantageous to the criminal cartels that are using Americans all over the country to come to Cochise and other counties on the border to exploit their criminal behavior,” said Dannels. 

Dannels added that the smugglers are reckless and destructive. He shared that, just last week, smugglers damaged two of his officers’ vehicles by driving into them and injured one of his officers.

Dannels said that the Biden administration refuses to mitigate the border crisis. He opined that the only possibility of improvement would come from a change in elected officials.

“The only change that’s ever going to take place, they’ve made it clear, is that people need to get out and vote in November,” said Dannels. “Border security is community security.”

Dannels stated that Biden needed to make a public statement condemning illegal crossers and declaring that the current border activity constituted a crime. 

“It’s almost like we’re America second on this border down here. We have been the forgotten Americans on this border,” said Dannels.

These apprehensions are in addition to the many Arizonans arrested for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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