Posted: Jun 27, 2014 4:07 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2014 2:59 PM
AUSTIN - A Texas based global intelligence firm agrees drug cartels exploit immigrants.
Tristan Reed of Stratfor from Austin says cartels are not fueling the recent surge in Central Americans, but they are taking advantage of situation.
He says immigrants mean big cash for the cartels.
"They (immigrants) are victimized along the way. Sometimes they are held in a safe house and more money is demanded from the family," said Reed. "Sometimes, as migrants come across they're kidnapped once again, brought back into Mexico and then forced to work as drug mules."
Reed says, while law enforcement is pre-occupied with a flood of unaccompanied children, cartels are also using the surge as cover to smuggle more drugs into the U.S.