Without modesty and openly offering illegal crossings to the United States, the “coyotes” use social networks to promote their services and, as a “hook”, sell the idea that with the arrival of President Joe Biden to power they will be able to achieve the “American Dream”.
Pages created with names like “Safe crossing to the United States illegally”, “I help with the crossing”, “Cheap crossings to the US” can be seen on various platforms as a massive way to contact “clients” with desires to emigrate.
“Whats up, how are you doing? If you want to cross to the United States, take advantage of the fact that it is now easier without Trump. You still have the American dream, send me inbox and will give you information,” reads one of the advertisements, where photographs are also observed of migrants crossing the desert.
FROM THE DEEP INTERNET TO “CHEERFUL” ADVERTISING
If in the past these “services” were kept in hiding and were made known through word of mouth, now social networks have changed everything.
The postings are made so that the people who are offering the service of “crossing people” over the border must be contacted privately by means of emails or online groups, and prices vary according to the destination of those interested.
“I cross only to Calexico 3,500 dollars. Up to Los Angeles 6,500 dollars. The payment is made until you reach your destination. Take advantage. Likewise there are other ways of crossing such as by car through the border. Walking with papers. And walking 3 hours through the hill. Crossing Mexicali and Nogales walking 10 minutes for only 7,000 dollars, “says another of the messages.
Analyst Javier Osorio clarified that the use of technology “is not new” for traffickers, only that previously they did it through more private channels such as the dark route on the internet, which are more difficult to access for the general public.
“But now they do it in a more blatant way, we see more open channels like Twitter and Facebook. Migrant caravans communicate through these ways and then they move to private WhatsApp channels. These channels are widely used in Central America and the coyotes see those virtual spaces for potential clients, “said the founder of the North Central America Security Analysis Academy.
Osorio indicated that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities have monitored these networks used by traffickers and “the Border Patrol buys cell phone data from private companies to record the geographic position of the polleros.”
This was confirmed by the Customs and Border Protection Office itself, which noted that they are “constantly monitoring and analyzing any new significant trends that criminal and transnational organizations may use, such as the exploitation of social networks to attract more businesses to their illicit activities to along the border, and will adapt its enforcement stance accordingly.”
Recent CBP reports reveal that the migratory flow on the southwest border has increased gradually and last December the highest number of arrests at the border was recorded in that month since 2001, with 73,513 encounters with undocumented persons, many more than the 40,565 of the same month of 2019.
Biden promised from his campaign to get rid of the “damage” caused by the border policies of the government of former President Donald Trump and this was demonstrated from the day he entered the White House as president when he announced a package of measures on immigration, including stopping the construction of the border wall with Mexico.
And many conservatives and CBP agents are already warning that these more lax policies will translate into a new flood of immigrants and a possible new humanitarian crisis at the border in the coming months. And Osorio does not take away their reason.
The expert at the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona (UA) believes that the Biden phenomenon adds a pull factor for migration, “since relaxing migration through political discourse” becomes more tempting to called the “American Dream”.
“But we must not forget that the Latin American and Central American economies are devastated by covid, coupled with poverty and violence, people have many reasons to emigrate,” he said.