President Joe Biden may be claiming victory at the southern border as the next presidential election cycle nears, but the crisis is far from over. The president's open border policies have been short of disastrous, transforming parts of the border into a warzone as cartels fight over drug routes into the US. Cartels have also made big bucks by smuggling migrants into the US.
US Border Patrol officials revealed the crisis isn't over this week. They announced this week human smugglers used "cloned FedEx delivery vans" to transport migrants in El Paso, Texas, according to a new report from the local newspaper El Paso Times.
On June 9, Border Patrol agents arrested four suspected smugglers, two from the US and two from Mexico, who operated three delivery vans full of migrants. Two of the vehicles were "cloned FedEx vans. Agents said 26 migrants from Mexico and Guatemala were found inside the three vehicles.
Express Consequence Delivery!#SantaTeresa Station Anti-Smuggling Unit agents along with @TxDPSWest intercepted a smuggling scheme involving 26 smuggled migrants. Of the 3 vehicles involved, 2 were cloned FedEx vans. The smugglers will face charges!@cbp pic.twitter.com/kCP5tvtgR4— Anthony “Scott” Good (@USBPChiefEPT) June 14, 2023
Border Patrol agents made the bust with the Santa Teresa Station Anti-Smuggling Unit with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"El Paso Sector Border Patrol Agents continue to successfully disrupt smuggling schemes and the illegal operations of the transnational criminal organizations," Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony "Scott" Good said in a statement.
Migrants are taken over the border by guides and then picked up by transport vehicles to stash houses across the country.
Vice News said smugglers are using cloned FedEx vans because the transport company "has a location very close to the actual [US - Mexico] border, so agents are used to seeing FedEx vans pulling up around that area."
Authorities are still trying to find out how many vans are in the transport network and if smugglers are using other vehicles with fake logos, such as Amazon or UPS, to haul migrants to other states.
El Paso Times said there had been nearly 308,000 migrant encounters in the El Paso Sector this year alone, including the discovery of 203 stash houses containing 2,871 migrants. Border agents have seen more than 2,000 migrants daily in the week leading up to the end of Title 42 pandemic-era restrictions on May 11. But reports of migrant flows to the El Paso-Juárez region have declined since (well, at least that's what official government data says).