Mexico’s cartels are getting fabulously rich off the back of Biden’s migration crisis – and are arming themselves to the teeth. So how long before they turn their paramilitary power against American interests, asks TODD BENSMAN
Todd Bensman is Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies and author of ‘Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed The Greatest Border Crisis In U.S. History’
For decades, illegal immigration amounted to a side hustle for Mexico‘s ultra-violent cartel mafias that control all the southern border smuggling lanes into America.
But no more.
President Joe Biden‘s election and America’s subsequent mass migration crisis has bestowed such fabulous riches upon these criminal organizations that traditional drug trafficking is no longer the only prize worth dying for.
Nowadays, Mexican cartels are battling one another for control of an illegal immigrant smuggling boom. And the bonanza of illicit gains from it are being spent on growing and arming the ranks of the cartels’ paramilitary armies – creating a economic and national security threat to the United States.
Yet, no one is talking about it.
Reporting indicates that human smuggling became a multi-billion-dollar business in 2021 and in 2022 it may have even surpassed drug smuggling proceeds.
No one knows exactely how much cartels really make, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intelligence has taken stabs at it.
One ICE estimate found that prior to 2018 human smuggling generated somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million a year. That revenue may have gone as high as $13 billion in 2021 alone. A lower ICE estimate pinned the revenues between $2 billion to $6 billion per year.
America has always held the cartels in check by compelling Mexico’s military and justice system to punish these criminal organizations when they crossed U.S. red lines.
Nearly four decades after the ghastly torture-murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena by a cartel in the 1980s, Mexican Marines tracked down and captured the infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who America holds responsible for the killing.
But what happens when those cartels can outgun the Mexican government?
The answer is that America would lose its current imperfect, wanting reliance on Mexico to do it’s bidding. The day that happens is the day America will face serious security, public safety, and even wider-ranging economic impacts. And there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that day has already arrived.
By Todd Bensman