The situation on the southern border has grown so dire that now, residents and officials of Yuma, Arizona are openly claiming that their portion of the border is directly controlled by Mexican drug cartels instead of the United States government.
As reported by the New York Post, Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines said that cartels have been ramping up their ongoing human trafficking operations to such an extent that they are completely overwhelming Border Patrol officials. All the while, the cartels continue to make a fortune off of smuggling people into the United States, charging as much as $20,000 per person. Those who cannot afford to pay such hefty fees will sometimes offer to smuggle in drugs in exchange for passage into the country.
“This is not a political discussion,” Lines said in an interview with Fox News. “This is a national security issue. Unless this situation changes and we take back control from the cartels, for the trafficking coming across our border, it will only get worse.”
Alex Muller, a farmer in Yuma, expressed a similar sentiment that the situation will only get more dangerous with time: ”There’s a lot of people that don’t like the United States for whatever reason, and there’s plenty of people that want to get in here and do some damage. It’s just like a ticking time bomb.”
The skyrocketing rates of illegal immigration, which saw 2.7 million encounters with illegal aliens in Fiscal Year 2022, have especially impacted the Yuma region, where border crossings rose 171 percent from 2021 to 2022. All the while, the cartels’ profits have increased dramatically: While the cartels were making $500 million in 2018, they made at least $13 billion in 2022.
“The whole world is crossing the border, and these are the people who want to get caught,” Muller said. “There’s a lot of people who don’t want to get caught. Where are they going and who’s supporting them? That’s what’s scary.”
Muller also pointed out that the cartels’ activities on the border have only surged since Joe Biden took power in 2021. Biden had campaigned for president in 2020 by explicitly promising to open the southern border, and to provide taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens, including free healthcare, free education, and free housing.