“Coyotes,” which are human smugglers that sneak illegal immigrants across the border, were advertising their services on Facebook, reports NBC News.
“Human smugglers are openly advertising their services on Facebook, falsely telling Central Americans interested in crossing illegally into the United States that they can promise a ‘100[%] safe journey,” reported NBC News on Monday.
The practice has become much more popular since Joe Biden took office, claims NBC News, citing “Department of Homeland Security officials, immigration experts, and lawyers.”
“Travel to Mexico to the United States. Costs $8,000. 100[%] safe. Cross through Matamoros. You walk one hour, after in automobile until you arrive to your relative,” said one of the ads highlighted by NBC.
The posts were found in public Facebook pages with titles like “Migrants from Various Countries in Mexico” and “Migrants in the Mexico-U.S.A Border Awaiting Hearing.”
A smuggler posted a picture of a family on a plane with a caption saying: “Make your dream a reality in the United States. We are here to help you. journey is safe and reliable and the price is $4,500 leaving from Monterrey to San Antonio, Texas.”
“Someone help me go to the United States,” said an individual in one of the groups. Not long after the post, several individuals provided rates on smuggling, destinations, and WhatsApp numbers.
“It’s ready. 3,000 to arrive at the line/ 6000 to jump to your destination. Whatever state. Pay when your relatives receive you,” said one of the smugglers.
The Department of Homeland Security says that misinformation spread by these smugglers is one of the reasons why there has been a recent surge in illegal immigration.
A spokesperson from Facebook told NBC News that their policies prohibit human exploitation and trafficking and will remove posts that are flagged by users. Facebook removed all of the posts NBC News showed the company.
Last week, Facebook quickly pulled a video from Lara Trump, which interviewed the former president. Facebook said any content “in the voice of Donald Trump” would be removed.
Facebook blocked Trump “indefinitely” after the Capitol Hill riot.