How much are migrants trying to enter the United States illegally willing to pay?
An alleged border smuggler gave Fox News an idea of just how much the risky operation is worth. The Reynosa, Mexico, man revealed a few quotes through a translator.
"If you want to go to Houston … it depends on if you can walk or take a trailer for a vehicle. Trailer is between $5,000 and $7,000 for a person," he told Fox News' Griff Jenkins after estimating the lower cost of getting just over the border — up to $1,500 per person. "Trailer is much better and more secure because it's a long way to walk."
It can take around eight hours per walk if someone opts to walk over three days, so the trailer is the safer option, he added.
The smuggling business is lucrative, he said.
"We make a lot of money. I don't understand how people sell their houses and everything to get to the American Dream," he continued. "I do it mostly to help people, but yes, we earn a lot of money."
Mexican drug cartels contribute to the smuggling business and are even an integral component, he said.
"The cartels ask us for money, and they give us a code, and they take care of us, and that's how we take care of people here," he added. "Actually, Ramos is very safe because we work with cartels and nothing happens to people."
He even said cartels "take care" of the migrants as they make their way across the southern border.
"The cartels work like a guide that goes on the way with the migrants and I keep an eye that the police isn't around [sic], and in case there's danger, we return and don't let anything happen to the immigrating people," he said.
He estimated that on the high end, "some people spend even $15,000 to $20,000 to get into the United States."
The smuggling business will not stop any time soon, he said, and those on the southern side of the Rio Grande have certain advantages.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott debuted the state's own border wall Saturday.
"The State of Texas has taken comprehensive action to secure our southern border and address the border crisis while President Biden has sat idly by," Abbott said. "In June, I promised Texans that we would step up in the federal government's absence and build our own border wall. We have wasted no time in the six months since that promise was made, and I am proud to announce that construction of the Texas border wall is now underway."