Human Trafficking Increasing in Caravans
With another weaponized migrant caravan set to arrive on the US Mexico border inducing a cascading crisis, President Trump’s administration is set to close the border as Mexico abandons its obligations to the US. The unwillingness of past administrations to enforce their constitutional duties and protect the borders of the United States, its people and welfare has left us with a unique set of challenges today. Of the entry control points along the border, most are understaffed, under-funded and are in desperate need of technological updates. Border Patrol personnel lack the proper resources needed to perform their jobs, and further lack the backing of the Federal Government when enforcing immigration laws. The United States-Mexico border crisis has developed into a legitimate state of emergency in 2019.
Of the roughly 1900 mile long US/Mexico Border, almost none is physically secured or monitored, allowing for almost unobstructed access to the United States. In addition to the illegal immigration problem, there is a serious crisis with regard to human trafficking, drug trafficking and illegal activities on the border such as kidnappings, murders, assaults, rapes, theft and so on. According to reports from the Customs and Border Protection bureau, over 11 million illegal immigrants reside in the United States, but experts believe that figure is ultra conservative. Mexican cartels regularly enslave women and children as a price to get them across the border. In doing so, they charge women outrageous fees, which they must pay off over time, sometimes as long as 20 years, which is considered indentured servitude. Drug cartels regularly use firepower to intimidate US citizens living along the border in order to control the area by force, often by firing high caliber, long range rifles [as large as .50 caliber] into US territory.
In a 2018 report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the 2018 fiscal year Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made more than 1500 human trafficking arrests, 97 percent of them for sex-trafficking. In the same year, ICE officers removed more than 10,000 known or suspected gang members already in the country illegally. In December of 2018 alone, 20,000 children were illegally smuggled into the US. In the last two years, ICE arrested 266,000 illegal aliens with criminal records including those convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 homicides. In 2018 ‘only’ 1032 families were apprehended at the San Diego border. In 2019 (first quarter only) this number increased by 700 percent to 8217 families. Of these, 2400 family units falsely claimed to be together, under 18 years of age and what their country of origin was. The rise of apprehensions at the southern border jumped from 36,751 in February 2018 to 76,103 in February 2019.
European countries have paved the way for Turkey, Syria, and a number of countries in Africa to profit from the global refugee crisis now at roughly 70 million people by charging Europeans large sums of money in AID and other benefits such as international travel with no visa requirements in exchange for accepting refugees back into their home countries or regions. The Assad regime in Syria will not accept Syrian refugees from Europe without European countries shelling out huge sums of money and other political privileges. Turkey signed a €6 billion deal signed in March of 2016 with the EU to accept refugees into Turkey from the migrant population in Europe that reached 3.5 million displaced people. Turkey has been paid €1.85 billion by the EU Commission but has only accepted 1,564 Syrians while the EU has been tasked with setting 12,489 Syrians from Turkey that were settled in Germany, France, Finland, and the Netherlands. While Turkey demands the remainder of those sums, Turkey’s cooperation and progress in settling refugees will be undetermined. It is no wonder Erdogan’s party lost the recent election in Turkey.
In 2015, an Emergency Trust Fund worth $1.8 billion for 23 African countries as Europe’s 2014 Mobility Partnership was faltering. These ongoing deals present set unrealistic expectations on countries such as Tunisia and neighboring Libya which is now receiving additional investment for infrastructure development in the hope of stabilizing the migration crisis. One must question the feasibility and logic of these arrangements with weaker countries that do not have the infrastructure and security in place to perform. The African continent particularly the Sahel and Horn of Africa have been targeted as fertile recruiting and training grounds for IS, al-qaeda, and other global terrorist organizations unable to assert the strength necessary to keep them out.
The migration crisis there has been exacerbated by porous borders between African countries that have propelled trafficking networks forward in humans, narcotics, weapons, and counterfeit products. With what logic does it then follow that these same countries will be able to contain both the humanitarian and security crises even with European financing and military assistance? How can the destabilized countries of North Africa be expected to protect European countries more advanced and more wealthy than themselves from overwhelming numbers of migrants and trafficking threats they themselves cannot manage? It can be no surprise that the situation has since called for US involvement in the safeguarding of Europe from the North African and Syrian migration threat while contending with its own southern border crisis with Mexico and other Latin American countries. The US Mexico border remains a target for global trafficking routes connecting all the way to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America.
The key benefactors in not securing the US Mexico border continue to be large criminal organizations including cartels and global Islamic terror networks including Hezbollah active in Central American countries such as Venezuela. We have the technology to end this crisis, ensure peaceful trade, and provide for legal migrants. Accomplishing this mission requires developing physical border wall facilities and utilizing new technology and honing freight and passenger transportation infrastructure to detect trafficking threats. This can be accomplished across international supply chains and trafficking routes. The Turkish oil tanker El Hiblu 1 on route to Italy’s southernmost island of Lampedusa was recently hijacked at sea after rescuing 108 people — 77 men, 19 women and 12 minors, including toddlers. The ship was forced to dock in Malta after being intercepted by Maltese authorities alerted by the ship’s captain who declared he was not in control of the vessel.