A joint law enforcement operation between the United States and Mexico is targeting human traffickers at the U.S.’s southern border.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, the task force is aiming to stop a human trafficking operation that has moved hundreds of individuals from Mexico, Central America, and South America into Arizona.

“The Attorney General established Joint Task Force Alpha to address the threat posed by transnational human smuggling networks, and this operation is a prime example of its impact,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “JTFA marshals the investigative and prosecutorial resources of the Department, and its law enforcement partners, to target human smugglers and enhances coordination in transnational law enforcement efforts to better combat these criminal organizations.”

Over the past year, illegal border crossings have spiked, as close to two million migrants were apprehended by the U.S. in Fiscal Year 2021 alone.

The country also witnessed an increase in drug and human trafficking. For example, record levels of fentanyl flowed into the country, an incredibly deadly narcotic that can kill consumers with only a small dose.

Republicans have slammed the Biden administration over their handling of the crisis, arguing their lack of action has led to worse conditions.

“Border security is less about erecting barriers between nations, and more about increasing cooperation among neighbors,” said Gary Restaino, United States Attorney for the District of Arizona. “This operation is a stellar example of what can be accomplished when U.S. and Mexican authorities work together across the border. For years, these individuals have violated the laws of the United States and Mexico with impunity, and their apprehension will make citizens of both countries safer.”


Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]