Cartels use TikTok to recruit teenage drug mules with offers of $3k
Cartels use TikTok to recruit American teenagers with offers of £3k to smuggle migrants across the border
- Border cartels are using TikTok and other social media to recruit teenagers
- The teens are asked to smuggle migrants across the border for ‘easy cash’
- Job entails driving the migrants through checkpoints before dropping them off
Border cartels are using TikTok and other social media platforms to recruit American teenagers to smuggle migrants for cash.
Ads cartels are offering over $3,000 a ride for teens and young adults to drive smuggled migrants into the U.S. when they reach the border, images obtained by Fox News show.
The teenagers and young adults targeted by the ads are required to drive the migrants on the behalf of the drug cartels.
Border cartels are using TikTok and other social media platforms to recruit American teenagers to smuggle migrants for cash
Ads cartels are offering over $3,000 a ride for teens and young adults to drive smuggled migrants into the U.S. when they reach the border
The job entails driving the migrants through checkpoints before dropping them off at a specific location
After crossing the checkpoints, they are then required to reach a parking lot or other specific location where the migrants are then transferred to stash houses scattered along the border, according to the report.
Sources told the news outlet that some adolescents have even used their parents’ vehicles to make the journey without their knowledge or permission.
Officials have raised concerns for the safety of the teenagers who become involved in such missions.
One ad by a drug cartel obtained by Fox News reads: ‘Need 2 or 3 drivers to go through a checkpoint.’
Another states that there are ‘six left’. ‘Lemme know ASAP for that easy cash,’ it reads.
Some of the ads offer between $3,000-$4,000 for the journey.
US authorities estimate there are over 1,000 people who enter the US unnoticed by sneaking past border control every single day.
Around 172,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from Central America, tried to cross into the United States over the Mexican border in March, 71 percent more than the previous month, with a sharp rise in the number of children traveling alone.
The total includes about 19,000 unaccompanied migrant children and 53,000 family members traveling together, the preliminary figures showed.
Central Americans have been fleeing crushing poverty and surging violence as well as a rise in natural disasters.
According to UNICEF, the number of migrant children trying to reach the United States from Mexico has increased ninefold since the beginning of the year.
Vice President Kamala Harris set to visit Central America
Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Central America in June and hold virtual talks next week with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on the migrant surge at the US border, the White House said Wednesday.
Harris has been entrusted by Biden with leading U.S. diplomatic efforts to cut immigration from Mexico and Central America’s ‘Northern Triangle.’
Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Central America
Harris has pushed Central American countries to increase troops at their borders and said she plans to visit Guatemala and Mexico.
At a meeting with advisers last week, which focused heavily on anti-corruption efforts, Harris spoke about tackling the root causes of migration that have plagued the region for decades – gang violence, drug-trafficking cartels, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes – with diplomacy.
The rise from 380 to 3,500 youngsters registered at reception centers at the southern side of the border has overwhelmed the facilities, the UN children’s agency said.
‘It breaks my heart to see the suffering of so many young children, even babies, on the Mexican border with the United States,’ said Jean Gough, the fund’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean, who is based in Panama.
‘Most of the shelters I visited in Mexico are already overpopulated and cannot accommodate the growing number of children, adolescents and families migrating northwards,’ added Gough, following a five-day visit to the border.
Mexican authorities are recording an average of 275 new migrant children a day waiting to cross into the United States or having been sent back from the northern side of the border, according to UNICEF.
Mostly coming from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico, minors make up 30 percent of total migrants – the highest such figure ever registered for children.
UNICEF said people traffickers ‘shamelessly exploit’ the desperation of families looking to escape gang and domestic violence, poverty, the effects of climate change and unemployment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes as Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Central America in June and hold virtual talks next week with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on the migrant surge at the US border, the White House said Wednesday.
On March 24, she was tasked with leading the efforts to tackle the ‘humanitarian crisis’ amid a surge of migrants trying to enter the US since Biden’s administration came into office.
Harris will meet virtually with Giammattei on Monday.
‘The two will discuss working together to address immediate relief needs of the Guatemalan people as well as deepening cooperation on migration,’ the vice president’s spokeswoman Symone Sanders said.
Harris will take part by video in a roundtable on Tuesday with Guatemalan community organizations and discuss ‘solutions to root causes of migration,’ Sanders said.
A White House official said that additionally Harris ‘will travel to the region in June.’
The schedule raises the profile of Harris on one of the toughest-to-resolve issues facing the new Biden administration.
Unlike Republican Donald Trump, who emphasized physically stopping would-be immigrants from crossing the border, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have pledged to help regional governments address the poverty and violence driving people to make the difficult journey north in the first place.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich invited the Vice President on a tour of the border this month in a letter.
A makeshift camp of migrants sits at the border port of entry leading to the United States in Mexico
He wrote: ‘Recently, you stated, ‘You have to see and smell and feel the circumstances of people to really understand them.’ With that in mind, I formally invite you to join me for a tour of the southwest border in Arizona later this month.
‘It will provide firsthand insight into what Arizonans, law enforcement officials and migrants are experiencing. I will make myself available any day of your choosing.’
Shortly after her appointment, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also branded Harris ‘the worst possible choice’ to lead the border team, saying Biden had ‘completely trivialized the issue by putting someone in charge who flat out just doesn’t care’.
Ted Cruz added ‘she is not going to be able to solve this crisis’, branding it Biden’s ‘biggest political mess’.
Biden initially said his vice president would be in charge of returning migrants to their home countries in her new role.
He said: ‘The vice president has agreed… to lead our diplomatic effort and work with those nations to accept the returnees, and enhance migration enforcement at their borders.’
The White House later claimed Harris was not directly involved with the border crisis but was instead addressing its ‘root causes’.
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