Facebook appears to allow human smugglers to advertise their services with false promises of “100 percent safety” and easy travel.
NBC News reported multiple Facebook posts reportedly found on the social media platform offering “Travel to Mexico to the United States. Costs $8,000. 100 percent safe.” The article states human smugglers are openly advertising their services and are making false claims about the journey.
“Cross through Matamoros. You walk one hour, after in automobile until you arrive to your relative,” one of the posts cited by NBC News states. NBC does not offer links to or screenshots of the alleged advertisements.
Breitbart Texas also found posts on Facebook offering “guide” services claiming to be safe.
Account Cruzo gente para los estados unidos posts multiple offers on Facebook promising safe passage from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, to McAllen, Texas, and beyond.
Another post offers safe, no scams travel at a “fair price.”
Gabriel Angel offices a “100 percent safe” passage with no walking, no river, and no wall jumping.
The posts cited by NBC News go into more specifics about the money connected to the passage to the United States.
“It’s ready. 3,000 to arrive at the line/ 6000 to jump to your destination. Whatever state. Pay when your relatives receive you,” an apparent smuggler post quoted by NBC News.
Facebook told NBC News it does not allow posts that promote human exploitation and trafficking. They say they remove all such posts when they are flagged by users. NBC said Facebook removed all of the posts they flagged.
This is not the first time human smugglers utilized Facebook to promote their criminal activities. In August 2020, Breitbart’s Chris Tomlinson reported smugglers in the Middle East were using Facebook to promote fake “cruises” to smuggle people to Europe. Similar Facebook posts occurred in August 2017.
In 2018, then-CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said the human smugglers in Central America act like travel agencies, Breitbart’s Penny Starr reported.
McAleenan said the smuggling services are “actually being advertised by smugglers who start this at the retail level — almost like a travel agency in communities in Central America, saying ‘If you bring a child with you, you will be released if you cross the border illegally and you’ll be allowed to stay in the United States.’”
The smugglers do not appear to warn the migrants of the very real dangers of being packed into tractor-trailers, locked in human smuggling stash houses, drownings in the various border rivers and waterways, death by dehydration, hypothermia, or heat stroke, or of the rapes, beatings and extortion incidents that are regular occurrences for migrants traveling the journey to and into the United States.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.