Several reports said that human traffickers are using Facebook to deceive migrants into coming to the United States.
CBN News said the human traffickers give false hopes to people that the United States has accepted them for immigration. The media outlet cited the Department of Homeland Security in stating that such social media posts viral easily and spread misinformation quickly such that there is now a surge in immigrants in the U.S. border.
"Travel to Mexico to the United States. Costs $8,000. 100 percent safe. Cross through Matamoros. You walk one hour, after in automobile until you arrive to your relative," CBN News quoted a social media post written in Spanish and addressed to those aspiring to be in the U.S. from South America.
CBN News said the Facebook page purporting misinformation have several posts in a day. Some of the posts are said to come from apparent smugglers seeking information on how to immigrate to the U.S..
Meanwhile, NBC News said that the apparent smugglers easily prey on people since they use the Biden administration's welcome to migrants. The media outlet identified the Facebook pages "Migrants from Various Countries in Mexico" and "Migrants in the Mexico-U.S.A. Border Awaiting Hearing" as some of these.
NBC cited some posts to include pictures of families with their luggage presenting a scenario that they are already in the United States and aided by its caption enticing others to experience the same. While some posts portray a migrant was helped "to go to the United States" after posting please "for ways to go cross the border." Comments on the post show "smuggling rates, destinations, and WhatsApp numbers."
"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," NBC News cited one caption.
Sometimes, negotiations on pricing only happen after immigrants post on the groups looking for help crossing the border.
"Someone help me go the United States," a person posted on one such group, NBC noted.
"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 many comments made in reply to the post.
The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring such social media presence but it was only after the media outlet reported these to Facebook that the said pages were removed. Facebook prohibits human exploitation and smuggling in their community policy.
The Department of Homeland Security, in its Factsheet dated February 18, 2021, clarified that the Biden Administration's invitation to migrants does not in any way nor "signal any change to border enforcement" such that people can openly "migrate irregularly to the United States." The invitation is part of "the Biden Administration's commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align" with the "nation's values."
In line with it, the department released a newly established process particularly those who have been affected by the Migrant Protection Protocols and have been sent back to Mexico and who have "pending cases before the Executive Order for Immigration Review" was set in place. The said new process is the one being enforced to "safely and effectively process individuals at the southwest border" of the United States.
The DHS also released a warning last March 31 on the "grave risk of children travelling with smugglers" that would use the south border as access.