Unlike ex-president Donald Trump’s strong vigil, his successor Joe Biden has adopted a lax security at US borders which is enabling Mexican cartels to get stronger.
Most cartel violence occurs in Mexico as different factions fight for territory along the border into the United States. Smuggling drugs and humans is their primary business, and they control the border.
But the cartels are also embedded inside the United States, and indications point to more violence stateside this year, according to Jaeson Jones, a former captain for the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he ran the border security operations center.
Jones said cartels will “absolutely” cause more violence “everywhere, much deeper” into the United States. He said the problem with cross-border crime and cartel violence is that it’s not identified as such in the FBI’s uniform crime data system.
Illicit fentanyl coming across the Mexican border is chiefly responsible for fuelling the escalating opioid crisis, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Overdose deaths are at record highs in the United States.
“The overdose deaths are not going to get lower,” Jones said. “They’re going to go through the roof this year because of the migration issue. Because as they [border agents] focus on migration at the border, they’re not focusing on [drug] seizures. So you give up one for the other.”
Often, the cartels will send large groups of migrants to cross the border illegally in one area to tie up Border Patrol resources while they smuggle drugs and other people through another area nearby.
Jones said the price for crossing has recently skyrocketed to $2,500 per person, or even higher, depending on their country of origin.