Report: Human Traffickers Using Facebook To Advertise US-Mexico Border Services
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 09: In this photo illustration, the Facebook logo is displayed on a TV screen on September 09, 2019 in Paris, France. Several US states have launched antitrust investigations against web giants including Facebook and Google with the viewer their business practices, but also the collection and exploitation of personal data. In total, eight states have announced, via the attorneys general, the opening of an antitrust investigation against Facebook social media.
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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.”

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

The posts, the Department of Homeland Security says, may be partly to blame for a sudden surge of migrants at the southern border — a surge that is stressing border patrol and other services to the maximum. A reported 15,500 unaccompanied migrants are now in custody — a number expected to continue to grow through the summer months — and the Biden administration was reportedly warned that nearly two million illegal immigrants are expected to cross the border before September.

Last week, President Joe Biden took no responsibility for encouraging the influx of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, despite rolling back a number of Trump administration restrictions, including the so-called ” Remain in Mexico” policy which forced asylum seekers to stay south of the U.S. border while they waited for a hearing on their asylum claims.

“I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity,” he said.

According to NBC, the social network pulled the ads, but only after NBC pointed out that they violated Facebook’s policy against advertising human trafficking programs.

“A spokesperson said that Facebook policy prohibits human exploitation and trafficking and that the company removes such content when it is identified or flagged by users,” the outlet reported. “Facebook removed all of the posts that NBC News flagged to the company.”

Facebook is already facing potential litigation over sex trafficking, per CBS News. A woman who claims to have been trafficked after accepting a friend request on Facebook from someone who turned out to be a human trafficker has filed suit against Facebook, “claiming product liability and gross negligence. Facebook says it cannot be held liable for these actions by sex traffickers and that ‘we use technology to thwart this kind of abuse and we encourage people to use the reporting links found across our site.'”

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