Flood of Africans Trying to Enter Texas Shows Reach of Mexican Cartels

It turns the entire world wants to be American.

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports that the Border Patrol in Eagle Pass is being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants--from Africa.

90 illegal immigrants from Africa have attempted to sneak into the U.S. in the Eagle Pass Border Patrol sector, just in the past two months.  All of the immigrants are from the countries of Cameroon, Angola, and The Congo.

Mark Jones at the Baker Institute of Rice University says this demonstrates the reach of the Mexican drug cartels, which have branched out into the profitable business of human smuggling.

"These are very sophisticated organizations that have broad networks that span the globe," he said.

He says the three countries the immigrants come from are known for repression and civil war.

He says the smuggling routes that the cartels have established are long and difficult

."They tend to fly into Ecuador," he says.  "Because Ecuador allows most people from Africa to come in without a visa."

He says the cartels then bring them the long route to the U.S. Mexico border using the same smuggling trails they carved out decades ago shipping cocaine into the U.S. from Colombia.

"Many of the networks that deal with the smuggling of narcotics also have frameworks that allow them to provide immigration services."

He says smuggling of illegal immigrants is even profitable because, unlike drug smuggling, you don't have to create or buy a product to smuggle.  The customer is the product.

Officials have estimated that the cartels have operational control over the thirty miles of northern Mexico just across the Rio Grande from Texas, where they can charge fees to immigrants crossing through to attempt to enter the U.S.

The Border Patrol says a gym in Piedras Negras, across the river from Eagle Pass, has been turned into a holding center for the immigrants, all of whom are requesting asylum in the U.S.

PHOTO: GETTY

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