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Migrant Smuggling “Influencers” Offering Services Via TikTok & YouTube

New York Post
New York Post

As the United States continues to face rampant illegal crossing at the US-southern border with Mexico, migrant smugglers have publicly begun advertising transportation services via social media outlets, generating billions of dollars.

According to recent media reports, these new migrant smuggling social media "influencers" have been advertising illegal transportation into the homeland for more than $10,000 per person via TikTok videos.

The carte-linked human smugglers (coyotes in Spanish) have been posting high-quality promotional videos, which show them escorting illegal migrants across rivers.

The coyotes have public profiles on TikTok and YouTube, where they flaunt their schemes, mocking the US immigration system.

According to reports, any individual can open their mobile device, and with a few clicks, talk to a smuggler through their social media account and obtain a quote for transporting a migrant illegally into America.

By using words on TikTok like "sueño americano" ("American dream"), "levanto" ("pick up"), and "inmigrantes" ("immigrants"), it revealed dozens more accounts of suspected coyotes.

Speaking to the New York Post, an alleged human smuggler said the charge for him to sneak a Mexican immigrant into the US was $10,500.

On YouTube, Soy Xulen, whose handle is @ELINMIGRANTEAVENTURERO, which means "the migrant adventurer," had footage of smugglers in camouflage slipping illegal immigrants over the border.

In one video, users can see smugglers with backpacks heading along a dusty path to guide a family into a vehicle bound for the US.

The footage from the YouTuber handler also showed raft crossing at the Rio Grande and other illegal immigrant crossings. Some of the videos include children as young as 7 or 8 years old while failing to mention the risks that have claimed the lives of so many migrants in the past few years.

"For people who have that desire to know more about it. Here you find ADVENTURES OF AN IMMIGRANT. And the different ways of living in the USA," read Xulen's About Me page on his YouTube channel.

Other migrant smuggling influencers have also posted videos of themselves handing out clothing, toiletries, food, and other supplies to individuals crossing illegally.

According to reports, stash houses have been created in border cities like El Paso, Texas, housing illegal immigrants until they can be transported into the US.

The videos and posts from YouTube and TikTok include young migrants floating on rafts and inner tubes across the Rio Grande to coyotes coming to different parts of the border fence and flashing large stacks of cash in moving vehicles with social media hashtags like #bienpagado (#wellpaid).

"These social media portrayals and pictures are sick," said Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.

"A smiling kid in a stash house? A woman hugging her smuggler? An 'adventure'? The cartel smugglers are so brazen because there are no consequences," Ries told The Foreign Desk.

Many migrant smugglers have monitored US Border Patrol agents, listing their locations to aid their detection. Since the administration took over in 2020, the number of migrants crossing the border without being arrested has increased.

Data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows that around 1.5 million illegal immigrants have crossed the US-Southern border since President Biden took office.

US Customs Border Protections officials say that the social media usage of migrant smugglers is common and that these operations are linked to the drug cartels, which have a say in smuggling people over the border.

Ries notes that the Biden administration's open border policies have "both caused the flow of illegal aliens and prevented CBP and ICE agents from enforcing the law. Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas often says, 'We're taking it to the cartels. 'These social media posts show that is just another one of his lies."

Related Story: Texas Suing Biden Administration Over Asylum Rule Facilitating Illegal Immigration Through Phone App

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