Migrants illegally crossed into the U.S. in waves behind Gov. Kristi Noem as the South Dakota Republican described an “open border process” that’s letting coyotes rake in up to $5,000 for each adult trafficked.
The migrants walked straight up to a border gate in the Rio Grande Valley sector, about a mile west of the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge. Customs and Border Protection were already on scene, quickly processing the migrants and loading them into vans.
“What most people don’t know is that each one of them has a price on their heads, that the coyotes are making money off these children,” Noem told Fox News in an exclusive video.
“They can make more money trafficking people now than they can drugs,” Noem continued as illegal immigrants, many of them children, crossed the border behind her. “That’s why you see what’s happening right here behind us, you know, and the folks that come across here then are given to [a nonprofit organization] who houses them for a matter of days, but then they are relocated somewhere in the country.”
Noem said she was at the border to meet with the South Dakota National Guard troops she deployed and to ensure they were receiving the necessary resources. Noem sent 50 guardsmen to Texas to assist with the crisis after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked for help.
“I was speaking with some of the Border Patrol and National Guard that I sent down here, and they were talking about how they’ve discovered that each one child is about $200 to bring across the border, the adults are $500, sometimes up to $5,000,” Noem said.
CBP encountered 188,829 people attempting to cross the southwest border in June, which included an 8% increase in the number of unaccompanied children compared to May. Encounters in the Rio Grande Valley are up 461% compared to last year, according to CBP.
“It’s an open border process,” Noem told Fox News. “There’s no accountability here, and there’s no guarantee that people are taken care of while they’re getting to this quarter.”
“So many times these children are neglected,” she continued. “And they don’t have a stable home, even when they do come over into America.”
Noem said she will decide in the next few days whether to send additional National Guardsmen to the border.