LOS FRESNOS, Texas (AP) — The sluggish economy has reduced the number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. But authorities have noticed a spike in the number of migrants from India over the last two years.
Smugglers using many of the same tactics as drug cartels are running an 11,000-mile pipeline that moves human cargo from India, through Central America and Mexico and over the Rio Grande into Texas.
With fewer Mexicans and Central Americans crossing the border, smugglers are eager for more "high-value cargo" like Indians, some of whom are willing to pay more than $20,000 for the journey.
Between October 2009 and March 2011, the Border Patrol detained at least 2,600 illegal immigrants from India, a dramatic rise over the typical 150 to 300 arrests per year.
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