TEMPE, Ariz. (NewsNation) — Legal pathways for immigration have received widespread support in America. However, cartels are known for exploiting vulnerabilities, and they have adapted to maintain control over the flow of immigration. Currently, they’re intercepting migrant groups planning to cross at ports of entry using the CBP One app.
Border Patrol agents told NewsNation that even if individuals want to go through the port, cartels redirect them to cross at another port and through the Rio Grande instead, where agents await to receive them, claiming it is the easier way to seek asylum.
As fewer migrants cross illegally between ports, agents are able to focus on Border Patrol, undermining the cartel’s profit.
“So don’t worry, you’re gonna get across and get and remain in America anyway,” said National Border Patrol Vice President Art del Cueto. “The reason they do that is because they know that causes that distraction that the drug cartels need in order to bring their drugs back into the country when agents are preoccupied somewhere else.”
The number of encounters at the southern border currently averages about 4,000 per day, returning to levels considered “normal” prior to the end of Title 42. However, agents emphasize that these numbers remain unprecedented and unmanageable.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that migrants who enter the U.S. unlawfully should be turned back and banned for five years, as outlined in Title 8. On the other hand, migrants who follow legal procedures have the opportunity to seek asylum, resulting in the majority of them being released with a scheduled court appearance.
In addition to that data, there’s a separate group of migrants not accounted for. Specifically, 1,450 migrants are using the CBP One daily at ports of entry — it’s up from 1,000 individuals just last week.
The spike in app appointments indicates that nearly 530,000 individuals are entering the U.S. through ports of entry yearly, in addition to the 675,000 individuals granted visas.
The primary concern of agents and national security advisors is the significant number of documented individuals known as “gotaways.”
During this fiscal year alone, more than 540,000 individuals have successfully managed to evade law enforcement. This doesn’t include May and June; however, sources indicate that the actual numbers are likely much higher, particularly due to the lack of agents in the field to accurately track and respond.
Additionally, the removal of the majority of aerostat balloons, which helped to track gotaways, has resulted in fewer eyes available to track them.