Mexican officials are quietly helping thousands of illegal immigrant Haitians make their way to the United States, according to an internal Homeland Security document that details the route taken by the migrants, the thousands of dollars paid to human smugglers along the way and the sometimes complicit role of the governments of America’s neighbors.
More than 6,000 Haitians arrived at the border in San Diego over the last year — a staggering 18-fold increase over fiscal year 2015. Some 2,600 more were waiting in northern Mexico as of last week, and 3,500 others were not far behind, waiting in Panama to make the trip north, according to the documents, obtained by Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican.
The migrants are paying at least $2,350 to be smuggled from South America to the doorstep of the U.S., where many present themselves at the border and many demand asylum, hoping to gain a foothold here.
“Haitians have forged a dangerous and clandestine new path to get to the United States,” says the document, which lays out in detail the route and the prices paid along the way for smugglers, bus tickets and, where they can be obtained legally, transit documents.