Human Smugglers Using Facebook to Advertise Their Services

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As we hear far too many accounts of children and babies as young as a few months old practically tossed across the southern border while illegal crossings increase, an explosive report has revealed that criminal human traffickers are employing Facebook to recruit customers.

The traffickers often called “coyotes” are paid as much as thousands of dollars per migrant to facilitate their crossing into the United States and these human smugglers have found that Facebook groups set up for aspiring asylum-seekers provide them with a fantastic opportunity to advertise.

Sickeningly, the coyotes advertise “100 percent safe” passage into the United States along migratory routes on which their peers in the human trafficking business have been abandoning small children, whom the smugglers often separate from their parents to assist other migrants across.

As NBC News reported on Monday, “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.”

A DHS official familiar with the department’s intelligence on trafficker activity on social media blamed misinformation on the part of the smugglers about the Biden administration’s immigration policy for the recent deluge.

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Of course, it must be said that it was only recently that accurate information about the Biden administration’s policies toward undocumented migrants probably served well enough to incite the crushing wave of border crossings that has transpired since President Joe Biden took it upon himself to personally welcome them in with one of his first acts in office.

Biden’s open borders have meant big business for coyotes, and while your best friend from high school has done very well for herself peddling pink drinks or weird leggings on Facebook, these human traffickers troll Facebook groups for what could easily be described as a far more cynical pyramid scheme.

“Travel to Mexico to the United States. Costs $8,000. 100 percent safe,” one Facebook post written in Spanish and found by NBC reads. “Cross through Matamoros. You walk one hour, after in automobile until you arrive to your relative.”

The outlet noted that “posts identified by NBC News were found on public Facebook pages with names like ‘Migrants from Various Countries in Mexico’ and ‘Migrants in the Mexico-U.S.A. Border Awaiting Hearing.’” (Note: While the outlet refers to Facebook “pages,” the report also used the term “group” and described what sounds more like the function of a Facebook group than a page.)

Is Facebook doing enough to stop this?

Posts came from coyotes posting “ads” as well as Central American migrants asking questions about making the trip into the U.S. interior.

One post from a human trafficker reportedly read, “Make your dream a reality in the United States. We are here to help you. The journey is safe and reliable and the price is $4,500 leaving from Monterrey to San Antonio, Texas,” and was posted along with a picture of a family, donning masks and sitting on an airplane.

Other posts came from the migrants themselves and were met with comments from smugglers who offered their rates, details of the trip they could provide and contact information.

“Someone help me go to the United States,” wrote one migrant, who didn’t have to wait long for a host of offers and WhatsApp numbers from traffickers.

“It’s ready. 3,000 to arrive at the line/ 6000 to jump to your destination. Whatever state. Pay when your relatives receive you,” one wrote.

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“Excuse me does anyone know if they are letting [people] with kids cross the bridge?” read a question posted on March 24.

Commenters replied, clarifying that only unaccompanied minors were being allowed to cross, which NBC noted was an accurate representation of Biden administration policies.

Facebook removed all the posts flagged by NBC and a spokesperson clarified that the platform’s policy strictly prohibits human exploitation and trafficking, further alleging that Facebook always removes any posts identified to it as such by users.

There was no mention, however, of whether Facebook removed the pages or groups in question. This is rather disconcerting, as we can only assume someone would have to take it upon themselves to diligently monitor future posts in which smugglers and migrants openly negotiate rates.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about human traffickers utilizing his platform to find migrants willing to pay them to help them cross the border by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month, NBC noted.

“I’m talking about coyotes who are using your platform to spread this kind of information, to assist in this illegal activity that is resulting in horrible conditions for these people who are trying to come across the border,” Republican Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia told the Big Tech baron.

“Congressman, that’s against our policies, and we’re taking a lot of steps to stop it,” Zuckerberg replied.

The assumption that the tech giant is taking “a lot of steps” to stop the literal orchestration of human trafficking on its platform is hardly more assuring than the fact that it has removed every post NBC dug up and pointed out to the platform.

Facebook can’t possibly seek out every instance of coyotes conducting operations on the network, especially when activity is so astronomically high — all thanks to the Biden administration’s disastrous policies directly causing this deluge of smuggling across the border.

That there is a crisis at our southern border is by now entirely irrefutable, yet the Biden administration is still pretending they’ve got their finger in the dam — and well, so is Facebook.

The truth is, the dam broke the moment Biden took office and it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than removing flagged posts to fix it. The fact of the matter is that human traffickers are seeing big business thanks to bad policies. The Biden administration has the power to put these criminals out of business — yet won’t.

I mean, seriously, at least Facebook has something to offer by way of mitigating its role in the crisis, however minuscule — which is almost more than we can say for Biden.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.





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