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Mexican Drug Cartels Make Huge Profits as Inflation Affects the Border Economy.

Photo for: THE BORDER IS OPEN AND BUSINESS IS BOOMING: Smuggling Prices Soar Under Biden.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection logged 203,598 migrant encounters at the southern border in the month of August —and those are just the ones we know about. A far more lucrative business, especially for the drug cartels, are the migrants Border Patrol Agents will never see.

The migrant smuggling economy is now a $20 billion dollar business under President Biden —and, according to The Washington Times, the cartels have made $2.6 billion in the last 12 months just from controlling the routes that migrants travel to enter the country illegally.

Those numbers are up substantially from the Trump-era and even the Obama-era.

“Mexican migrants are paying an average of $8,600 in total smuggling fees this year, according to The Washington Times’ database of smuggling cases. That’s up roughly $2,000 from 2019, the last pre-pandemic year under the Trump administration. Migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are paying about $11,500 for the trip, up from $9,000 in 2020 and $7,900 in 2019, The Times’ data shows.”

It’s an incredibly lucrative business for the cartels —especially with the border as weak as it is.

“There’s an inflationary pressure on the number,” said Ronald Vitiello, a former chief of the Border Patrol. “Everything else being equal, things are more expensive. Employees, gasoline, logistics — things are more expensive.”

They’re printing money,” Mr. Vitiello added.

The fee which migrants pay just to use cartel routes —”piso” or “tax” —has increased to $1,300 per person. That is up more than 50%, from about $850 in the Trump years.

“That’s free and clear profit just for use of their smuggling routes,” The Washington Times reports. “Any money they make from the rest of the smuggling journey, such as operating stash houses or coordinating foot guides and drivers, comes on top of that.”

And all that cash profit is inevitably funneled into even more deadly enterprises for the cartels, such as fentanyl smuggling.

“It’s all the same enterprise,” said former Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. “So the money that they make on the human trafficking, the $10,000 to $12,000 per head, they’re using to either import from China or make fentanyl and push that across the border.”

Vitiello says cartels are making an aggressive push because Biden’s border is soft.

“Reasonable people can understand this has a shelf life,” he said. “They’re taking advantage of the maximum flow because they know it’s not going to last.”

The U.S. economy may be suffering from crippling inflation but one economy is thriving under President Joe Biden: the smuggling economy —and cartels are making a killing.