In 2011, law enforcement officials began reporting that human smuggling rings on the U.S. – Mexico border were starting to use cell phones to guide migrants across the border. Previously, a human guide would lead the migrants across the border, who was paid $50 for each person they brought across.
With the use of cell phones, human smugglers guide the migrants across the border by directing them with directions giving over the phone. This prevents the smugglers from being arrested is the group is caught by border patrol, and also cuts down on the costs to the operation.
With a migrant typically paying around $5,000 for a land crossing, the human smuggler pays of between $100 to $300 to the American driver who picks up the group in the U.S. The group is then brought to a holding house, where the house owner is paid between $25 to $200 a day. Along with a few additional costs for the cell phones and rental cars, the rest of the money is split amongst the human smuggling organization.
Source: Associated Press, “APNewsbreak: Cell phones aid in border smuggling,” Google News, November 18, 2011.