Facebook is blamed for fueling worsening border crisis as human smugglers offer services on groups


Facebook has been blamed for fueling the border crisis as human smugglers are using its platform to organize the passage of desperate migrants into the US in exchange for around $8,000 in cash.    

Dozens of Facebook pages and groups openly offer illegal crossings across the US-Mexico border, posting prices, routes, discount options, videos they claim show successful trips – and even testimonials from what they claim to be happy customers.  

The Tech Transparency Project (TTP), which unearthed the groups in a damning report this week, said Facebook has become a ‘one stop shop’ for coyotes and dangerous cartels and is contributing to migrants risking their lives on the perilous journey chasing the American dream. 

The non-profit also revealed it had handed over details about 50 human smuggler pages in April to Facebook – at the platform’s request.

Two months on, the social media giant has failed to remove them all, with 19 still in use on the platform.  

One group 'Viaje para estados unidos, cumple tu sueño' translates as 'Travel to the United States, fulfill your dream' (above). Facebook has been blamed for fueling the border crisis

One group ‘Viaje para estados unidos, cumple tu sueño’ translates as ‘Travel to the United States, fulfill your dream’ (above). Facebook has been blamed for fueling the border crisis

Many of the groups – some with tens of thousands of members – make no effort to disguise their illegal services. 

Among the brazen group names are: ‘El coyote lopez’ and ‘Viaje para estados unidos, cumple tu sueño’ – translated as ‘Travel to the United States, fulfill your dream.’   

In one post on the ‘El coyote lopez’ page, a smuggler advertises travel from Nicaragua into the US for $8,000 per person.

Another post offers single mothers and children a discounted rate of $1,700 if they are willing to hand themselves over to US Border Patrol on arrival into the US.

The price rises to $7,000 to $8,500 to take the migrants all the way to Houston. 

It uses flag emojis for Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to show where the smugglers will pick up the migrants from. 

The group has a WhatsApp button for customers to directly connect with smugglers.  

In the ‘Viaje para estados unidos, cumple tu sueño’ group, TTP found smugglers were claiming to have a focus on ‘safety’, showing previous customers wearing life vests as they cross rivers.

A quick search by DailyMail.com found that both groups remain active on Facebook Thursday evening. 

Pictured agents rescue migrants who were kidnapped from a house in Chihuahua state, Mexico, this week. Human smugglers are using Facebook to organize the passage of desperate migrants into the US in exchange for around $8,000 in cash

Pictured agents rescue migrants who were kidnapped from a house in Chihuahua state, Mexico, this week. Human smugglers are using Facebook to organize the passage of desperate migrants into the US in exchange for around $8,000 in cash

A migrant reaches for help after crawling through a gap in the US border wall in Yuma, Arizona. Dozens of Facebook pages and groups openly offer illegal crossings across the US-Mexico border, posting prices, routes and discount options

A migrant reaches for help after crawling through a gap in the US border wall in Yuma, Arizona. Dozens of Facebook pages and groups openly offer illegal crossings across the US-Mexico border, posting prices, routes and discount options

Several private groups have also been revealed to be advertising illegal border crossing services.  

One group called ‘Quiero cruzar la frontera’ – translated as ‘I want to cross the border’ – has a staggering 44,000 members.

In it, a smuggler has posted multiple videos of journeys to the border and urged customers to message him privately for a quote on his services.    

While Facebook is being used to arrange human smuggling, there is also evidence that the coyotes exploiting the platform’s lax enforcement practices have ties to Mexican drug cartels, the TTP said.  

Dr. Nilda Garcia said – based on their weapons, gang signs and language – some smugglers appear to be linked to the Sinaloa cartel, which funnels huge amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into the US.

The researchers also found posts promoting $700 fees to take a migrant across cartel territory. 

In one post on the 'El coyote lopez' page, a smuggler advertises travel from Nicaragua into the US for $8,000 per person

In one post on the ‘El coyote lopez’ page, a smuggler advertises travel from Nicaragua into the US for $8,000 per person

 

In the 'Viaje para estados unidos, cumple tu sueño' group, TTP found smugglers were claiming to have a focus on 'safety', showing previous customers wearing life vests as they cross rivers

In the ‘Viaje para estados unidos, cumple tu sueño’ group, TTP found smugglers were claiming to have a focus on ‘safety’, showing previous customers wearing life vests as they cross rivers

Failure to pay this right-of-way tax – known as ‘cobro de piso’ – comes with the risk of extortion, kidnapping or death by the cartels.   

Cartels and criminals are exploiting migrants who are desperately trying to cross the border into America.

Dozens of migrants have died along the way. Others have been violently raped, attacked and extorted by smugglers.  

So far in 2021, at least 128 people have died attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the US.

By this time last year, 45 had died, according to Dr. Corrine Stern who has tracked the data since 2007.

For those who survive the journey, many are being turned back into Mexico – after spending all their life savings.  

Migrants at a shelter set up in a church in Tijuana, Mexico, all told NBC News they first made contact with smugglers on Facebook. 

Five men showed the outlet screenshots from Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp where they arranged costs and travel plans with coyotes.  

Several private groups have also been revealed to be advertising illegal border crossing services. One group called 'Quiero cruzar la frontera' - translated as 'I want to cross the border' - has a staggering 44,000 members (above)

Several private groups have also been revealed to be advertising illegal border crossing services. One group called ‘Quiero cruzar la frontera’ – translated as ‘I want to cross the border’ – has a staggering 44,000 members (above)

There is also evidence that the coyotes exploiting the platform's lax enforcement practices have ties to Mexican drug cartels, the TTP said. Dr. Nilda Garcia said - based on their weapons, gang signs and language - some smugglers (above)appear to be linked to the Sinaloa cartel

There is also evidence that the coyotes exploiting the platform’s lax enforcement practices have ties to Mexican drug cartels, the TTP said. Dr. Nilda Garcia said – based on their weapons, gang signs and language – some smugglers (above)appear to be linked to the Sinaloa cartel

DailyMail.com has reached out to Facebook for comment.

Facebook told NBC News the company bans content ‘that offers to provide or facilitate human smuggling’. 

The company said it relies on people, technology and collaboration with other stakeholders to remove content of this nature.

It said it is ‘constantly evaluating ways to improve our enforcement so we can most effectively find and remove content that breaks our rules.’  

Facebook’s alleged role in the migrant crisis comes as the tech giant has also come under fire in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot. 

Many rioters used Facebook groups to organize the insurrection in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to overturn the election results. 

In April, the company admitted in a leaked internal report it failed to take action against posts that fueled the insurrection. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The TTP said it had handed over details about 50 human smuggler pages in April to Facebook - 19 of them have not been taken down

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The TTP said it had handed over details about 50 human smuggler pages in April to Facebook – 19 of them have not been taken down 

Facebook's alleged role in the migrant crisis comes as the tech giant has also come under fire in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot (above) as rioters organized on the platform

Facebook’s alleged role in the migrant crisis comes as the tech giant has also come under fire in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot (above) as rioters organized on the platform 

The social media giant said hindsight has shown how ‘election delegitimizing movements… grew, spread conspiracy, and helped incite the Capitol insurrection’ using its platform and that its focus on rooting out fake accounts and ‘inauthentic behavior’ drew attention away from taking action against such groups.    

The report focused on two pro-Trump movements – Stop the Steal and the Patriot Party – that played a crucial role in spreading false claims of election fraud and organizing the violent insurrection on January 6.  

Facebook’s admission of responsibility to its employees came less than a week after Mark Zuckerberg was hauled before Congress to testify about the platform’s role in the riot.

Zuckerberg denied the platform played some role in the riot, testifying that he believed the blame rested on Donald Trump and those who invaded the seat of American democracy that day. 

The federal government is struggling to cope with the influx of migrants crossing the US’s southern border with Mexico since Joe Biden took office in January. 

After taking office, Biden lifted the Remain in Mexico policy, which kept migrants south of the border while waiting for their hearings, effectively allowing migrants who have applied for asylum to cross into the US and begin legal proceedings.  

A pair of migrant families from Brazil wait to be processed by Border Patrol agents in Arizona. Customs and Border Protection data released this week showed 180,034 migrants were detained along the Mexico border in May - a record not seen in two decades

A pair of migrant families from Brazil wait to be processed by Border Patrol agents in Arizona. Customs and Border Protection data released this week showed 180,034 migrants were detained along the Mexico border in May – a record not seen in two decades

At least 128 migrants have died attempting to reach the US border so far in 2021

At least 128 migrants have died attempting to reach the US border so far in 2021

He also narrowed the ICE’s criteria for arrests and deportations and stopped the building of Trump’s border wall.   

These moves have led to thousands of migrants entering America in recent months, leaving the border’s children’s centers so full that kids are being forced to spend several days in cramped detention centers meant for adults and sparking a backlog and logistical nightmare in processing the new entrants. 

Customs and Border Protection data released this week showed 180,034 migrants were detained along the Mexico border in May – a record not seen in two decades. 

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala and Mexico this week to meet with their leaders in an effort to tackle ‘root causes’ of the mass migration into America.

Harris sent a clear message to migrants: ‘Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.’



Source link

Spread the love

Written by bourbiza

Arkansas state trooper sued for allegedly causing a pregnant woman’s car to flip during traffic stop

The ute with the highest customer satisfaction and it’s NOT a HiLux or Ranger