NBC News reports Monday that human traffickers are “openly advertising their services on Facebook” to would-be migrants from Central America, promising safe passage over the United States-Mexico border, and “fueling false hope” that the new Biden administration will be welcoming to asylum seekers.
“While the use of social media by smugglers is not new, the practice is growing, fueling false hope as more migrants fall prey to misinformation about how the Biden administration will welcome them, according to Department of Homeland Security officials, immigration experts, and lawyers,” the outlet reported, suggesting that the sudden influx of unaccompanied minors, asylum-seeking families, and illegal border-crossers may be fueled by a social media advertising blitz.
“Travel to Mexico to the United States. Costs $8,000. 100 percent safe,” one ad, translated from Spanish and viewed by NBC News, reads. “Cross through Matamoros. You walk one hour, after in automobile until you arrive to your relative.”
“Make your dream a reality in the United States. We are here to help you,” reads another. “The journey is safe and reliable and the price is $4,500 leaving from Monterrey to San Antonio, Texas.”