Human Smuggling Industry Booms on Border

A network of human smugglers, known as “coyotes,” that lead migrants from Latin American countries across the U.S. border are reportedly building a profitable illegal industry. The vast majority of undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. with the help of coyotes, and the recent surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the border indicates the coyote business is booming. A United Nations report estimates that the coyote industry makes $6.6 billion a year. Impoverished families from Guatemala and Honduras will often pay anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to a coyote to be guided across the border. A cartel may charge an extra $5,000 on threat of death. One coyote told the Associated Press, “You have to be careful with the Zetas. They cut you in pieces and videotape it.”