(NewsNation) — It’s been a busy week for human smuggling busts along the Texas-Mexico border.
Dashcam video from the Texas Department of Public Safety out of Del Rio shows a smuggler trying to elude law enforcement.
Agents disable the vehicle, causing the truck to pull over — the driver tried to make a break for it, but was caught. At only 18 years old, he was charged with smuggling 13 Mexican nationals.
Also in Del Rio, seven Mexican nationals were found jammed into a sedan. Two alleged smugglers, both from the Houston area, were arrested.
In Maverick County, a gravel trailer was pulled over by Texas DPS. The driver fled on foot. Inside, 17 Mexican nationals were being illegally smuggled north.
It’s a seemingly never-ending battle for law enforcement.
“The cartels own the border. They own every bit of it,” said former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. “And they’re using these people to shape the border to smuggle across commodities of the highest value whether it be a criminal alien willing to pay more, whether it be a terrorist or narcotics.”
Scott says this has become a big money maker for the Mexican cartels. The strategy is simple: Use the thousands of migrants crossing into the U.S. daily seeking asylum as cover.
To sneak those who are not seeking asylum and don’t want to be caught across the border, oftentimes the drivers themselves are U.S. citizens. Many of them are teenagers.
The smuggling operations put profits over people. In Hidalgo County, 84 migrants were found in the back of a trailer — an extremely dangerous practice.
More than 50 migrants died in San Antonio this past June in a trailer under similar circumstances.
In Kinney County earlier this week, three people died in a crash after smugglers tried to escape a police pursuit.
While many of the migrants who do come to the U.S. are law-abiding and are seeking asylum, there are many who are not.
The acting border patrol chief of the Rio Grande Valley sector posted on Twitter that this week that six people who were identified as members of MS-13 and 16th Street gangs were arrested, as were three sex offenders previously convicted of committing crimes against children.
“We have no idea, no idea what’s entering our country,” Scott said.