In a startling revelation on Friday, Richard Grenell, former acting director of the United States National Intelligence, claimed that Facebook, owned by Meta, has become a conduit for Guatemalan coyotes to advertise illegal immigrant smuggling to the United States.
Grenell wrote in a post to X, formerly Twitter: “I’ve learned in Guatemala that coyotes are openly advertising on @facebook – 3 tries to get to the United States for $10k.” His allegation calls out Joe Biden and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg for their apparent indifference.
I’ve learned in Guatemala that coyotes are openly advertising on @facebook – 3 tries to get to the United States for $10k.
Biden and Zuckerberg don’t care.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) January 13, 2024
Grenell’s findings are not isolated. They echo a disturbing trend where social media platforms, crucial in our daily lives, are misused for nefarious purposes. This misuse extends beyond Facebook. In July, journalist Tayler Hansen reported that TikTok is being used to recruit drivers for smuggling operations, showcasing videos that outline the smuggling process and enticing potential recruits with substantial payouts.
The issue has escalated to such an extent that in 2001, concerns about human smuggling and trafficking on Facebook led Apple to consider removing it from the App Store. The Wall Street Journal reported that “unscrupulous employment agencies” used Facebook and Instagram to advertise workers under coercive terms.
Meta allows cartels to advertise human smuggling services on Facebook: reporthttps://t.co/VEW414bNso
— Libby Emmons (@libbyemmons) January 13, 2024
The implications of these findings are far-reaching and alarming. They spotlight a significant policy lapse in the Biden administration’s approach to immigration and border security. The use of social media by cartels and smugglers underscores a broader problem that extends to the southern border of the United States. Cochise County, Arizona, has become a hotspot for drug and human smuggling, with social media playing a critical role in recruiting Americans, including teenagers, for these illegal operations.
Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County told CBS News about the alarming trend of juveniles, as young as 12, being apprehended for smuggling, lured through social media by cartels. Arizona’s response has been to implement stringent human smuggling laws, leading to over 400 arrests, predominantly of American citizens.
These developments raise critical questions about the responsibilities of social media platforms in moderating content and the effectiveness of current immigration policies. While Meta and other platforms have policies against such illicit activities, enforcement is lagging, allowing these dangerous practices to proliferate.
Furthermore, the Biden administration’s approach to addressing the root causes of migration in the Northern Triangle countries and its communication strategy has come under scrutiny. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has previously criticized the administration for sending mixed messages on immigration, which could be misinterpreted and exacerbate the crisis.
The situation in Cochise County, where high-speed pursuits and tragic accidents occur regularly, is a grim reminder of the human cost of these policies and the danger posed by the unchecked use of social media by criminal elements. Deputy Chris Oletsky’s recent injury in a pursuit highlights the risks law enforcement officers face daily as a result of the ongoing Biden open borders crisis.