New border data is again highlighting the severity of the crisis, especially after Title 42 was lifted.
On Thursday, The Center Square reported on border data it had received from an unnamed Border Patrol agent. This data shows at least 1.2 million people have either been apprehended or have evaded capture at the southern border for the first five months of 2023.
The outlet reports that this number is already greater than the population counts of eight individual U.S. states. For context, the finalized number of total apprehensions at the southern border for the entire year of 2021 was at just over 1.66 million.
The Center Square continues to say that the data reflects roughly 60,000 “gotaways” per month. This represents a group of immigrants who illegally enter the U.S. and evade capture altogether. But this number may actually be higher since it is difficult for law enforcement to keep track of such a number, especially since it is not publicly reported by CBP.
But with the amount of illegal apprehensions and crossings, it seems to be making migrant smugglers confident in their abilities. The New York Post reports that some of these smugglers have begun advertising their services on social media sites like TikTok and YouTube.
The Post spoke to one of these alleged human smugglers who says he charges around $10,000 to sneak a Mexican person in the U.S. This person records videos of coyotes and smugglers helping people cross the border and make it to safe houses, putting them up on YouTube.
This person claims that he is only “documenting the migrant experience.”
A TikTok search done by the Post also led them to videos of other suspected smugglers who post videos of their smuggling escapades as well.
Border Patrol is well aware of these videos’ existence, but one retired federal agent suspects that the smugglers don’t care about exposing their identities because they have been successful as of late, and have made a lot of money doing so.
But not every smuggling operation is successful. Case in point: one smuggling ring, which operates primarily in New Mexico, is believed to have been busted following a two-year investigation.
On Thursday, in Las Cruces, officials from various agencies, including Border Patrol and Homeland Security, announced they had arrested and indicted six members of the alleged smuggling operation.
Four others remain at large, but officials believe that they have successfully broken the ring, which sent illegal migrants to their desired destinations.
Speaking of sending migrants to destinations, it appears as though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is continuing to try convincing non-border states to join the fight against the crisis.
On Wednesday, Abbott announced he sent a group of migrants to Los Angeles- a move coming days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent migrants to Sacramento.
Both actions are attempts from Republican border states to incentivize Democrat-run and non-border states to aid in quelling the inflow of migrants. California is a self-labeled “sanctuary” state for such groups.
New York City experienced a similar event last year and has buckled under the pressure of receiving only a few thousand migrants.