The US Border Patrol revealed smugglers are recruiting underage drivers through different social media platforms to promote illegal immigration in the United States.
Minor drivers can get away with crimes easily
Most smugglers are encouraging kids by offering them big pay and assuring them they will not be caught by law enforcement agencies because they are too young to be prosecuted.
Likewise, the smugglers are also telling young drivers that border agents will give up chasing them if they drive quickly; high chase cars can be detrimental to others’ safety on the roads.
According to the statement of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector, these sorts of assurances are encouraging kids to engage in high-speed evasions, which can result in traffic accidents.
Smugglers are turning to social media to recruit kids to drive illegal immigrants — including some who were just 13 years old, the Border Patrol revealed. The cartels dangle big paydays in front of the kids and assure them that because they’rehttps://t.co/j92bes44Mt pic.twitter.com/SSKK7N77ZG
— ENM News (@Newsenm) February 10, 2022
Similarly, Border Patrol noted that teenagers underestimate the law and order situation in the country once they get themselves involved in these activities.
The sheriff in Zapata County, Texas, claimed the major problem lies in the fact that smugglers are right when they claim juveniles can easily get away with the crimes.
He told the Washington Times that the federal government is not charging juveniles for such activities, which is pushing them to be career criminals.
According to the CBC, RGV encountered almost 137,000 migrants in the last three months of 2021, which was a significant increase from 2020.
Reportedly, the agents seized more than 11,000 pounds of narcotics in the sector alone during the previous fiscal year; this comprises almost 43 percent of the nationwide seized narcotics.
Thus, the increasing illicit activities mean transnational criminal organizations need more manpower to carry out their operations.
The CBC also revealed these organizations are looking towards juvenile drivers who can transfer drugs and illegal immigrants into the United States by promising them immediate cash.
Authorities arrested a number of drivers not only from the RGV, but also from San Antonio and other areas. Some of them were as young as 13 years old.
Social media apps paving the way for illegal immigration
Sheriff Del Bosque claimed once these minor drivers drop illegal immigrants at the decided locations, they are then accompanied by adults who disperse them all over America.
The use of social media to entice youth to drop illegal immigrants is not a new phenomenon, but it is gaining ground under the Biden administration.
Of all the cases investigated in the Arizona-Mexico border, almost 68 percent involved the use of social media apps. Included in these apps are Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and most prominently, TikTok.
Jackson County, Texas Sheriff @LouderbackAj and @MariaBartiromo discuss how cartels recruit American teens on social media and pay them to be getaway cars for illegal migrants wanting to sneak into the country. pic.twitter.com/i1UCPLNloA
— Mornings with Maria (@MorningsMaria) October 25, 2021
Once recruited, juvenile delinquents remain in touch with smuggling outfits who inform them periodically about the pickup and drop-off locations on the same apps.
In one such case, a girl told border agents she fell into this trap by answering a Craigslist ad. This ad prompted her to work for three different smugglers who communicated with her using Whatsapp and Messenger.