An increasing number of American citizens have been apprehended as they have tried to smuggle illegal drugs into the U.S. since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, an uptick that’s come amid travel restrictions at the border with Mexico.
For more than a year, the closure of the southern border to nonessential traffic has sharply limited the number of foreign citizens entering the U.S. by land. The rules have been extended until at least June 21, but Mexican authorities have allowed most U.S. citizens to walk or drive south across the border with relative ease.
Law enforcement officials and drug trafficking experts say the border rules — put in place in April 2020 to curb the spread of the coronavirus — and their lopsided enforcement are driving the rise in U.S. citizens involved in borderland drug busts. Mexican traffickers, however, have long recruited Americans for the job.
U.S. citizens were apprehended nearly seven times more often than Mexican citizens between October 2020 and March 31 for trying to smuggle drugs in vehicles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows. In the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, Americans were caught roughly twice as often as Mexicans.
Vanguard News Nigeria