A video capturing migrant smugglers’ claims of the ease of crossing the American border has surfaced. In the video, a line of men enters the U.S. through a gap in the US-Mexico border wall, smiling and waving at the camera. Filmed near Lukeville, Arizona on May 27, this footage depicts the migrants climbing through the border wall without facing resistance or questioning. The video includes a Spanish caption reading, ‘Achieving their goals, the gents,’ along with prayer emojis, and text overlay describing the crossing as a ‘desert adventure.’
The remote location of the video is situated approximately two and a half hours away from Tucson, a busy point of illegal entry, where an average of 1,300 individuals cross into the U.S. daily according to federal data. This comes at a time when U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton is preparing to rule on whether poverty should qualify as a humanitarian basis for admission to the U.S. Texas, along with other Republican-leaning states, is challenging the Biden administration’s program that allows 30,000 people per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to enter the U.S. on humanitarian grounds.
Migrants often pay smugglers between $200 and $6,000 per person for assistance in crossing the border. This issue has sparked significant political discourse recently, with Texas contesting the Biden administration’s policy. Arguments have arisen around whether the admission of migrants is being executed en masse rather than on a case-by-case basis as required by law.
The U.S. Justice Department and immigrant rights groups argue that migrants from the aforementioned countries are fleeing not only economic hardship but also oppressive regimes, escalating violence, and deteriorating political conditions.
The influx of migrants has intensified after the end of Title 42 in May, which had been in place since March 2020. These restrictions enabled swift returns of asylum seekers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In response, U.S. authorities have introduced stringent new measures that clamp down on illegal crossings while establishing legal pathways for migrants who apply online, seek sponsors, and undergo background checks.