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Crosses left by border activists mark the locations where the remains of migrants were discovered in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Two men who work as coyotes, or human smugglers, told Noticias Telemundo that for those desperate enough, a payment of $8,000 each will suffice to get them into the U.S. through the desert.

Details: To cross people by car, hiding them in secret compartments, they’ll charge up to $20,000 because the coyotes swear U.S. immigration officers get a cut to turn a blind eye.

What they’re saying: Walking through the desert “is the hardest route, but also the safest: there’s less vigilance” from authorities, smuggler Orlando told Noticias Telemundo. To cross someone by car “we get notice [from la migra] of a specific time and which of the inspection lines to queue up in,” the coyote said.

By the numbers: The typical desert trek skirts the border wall and takes from four hours to four days depending on the time of year.

  • The Border Patrol found 300 bodies in the last fiscal year of people who died crossing the desert en route to the border, due mostly to hypothermia and dehydration.
  • The number of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross to the U.S. could balloon to 26,000 by September from the current 16,000, according to official documents leaked to Axios.

This story first appeared in Axios Latino, a weekly collaboration between Axios and Noticias Telemundo. Sign up here.

Go deeper

Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill demanding a border surge plan

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.). Photo: Justin Hamel/AFP via Getty Images

A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday would require the Department of Homeland Security to make a plan for managing surges at the U.S.-Mexico border, which could unlock emergency funds.

Why it matters: Bipartisan agreement on immigration is rare, but both Republicans and a handful of Democrats have expressed concern about the mounting humanitarian crisis at the border.

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's 2018 reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The suit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that they "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queirog has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."