An advertising campaign launched on Tuesday by US Customs and Border Protection is attempting to dissuade Central Americans from attempting to illegally enter the United States. This is in a bid to prevent another mass influx of undocumented immigrants of the kind that hit the headlines last summer.
Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske claims the message of the campaign, which will appear on posters, radio stations, social media sites and television in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, is a simple one – that attempting to cross the border into the United States is a dangerous feat and one with very little point. Even if the border is crossed successfully, undocumented immigrants will still find that they are ineligible to stay in the country. Know the Facts, a $1.2m campaign, launched in San Diego on Tuesday and emphasizes that US immigration policy and law means there is no relief for undocumented border crossers, who will simply be deported back to their home countries straight away. “If anyone tells or promises you something different … please don’t believe them,” the announcer implores. “Your deportation will be a priority.”
In 2014 almost 80,000 people from Central America journeyed across the border from Mexico into the United States, causing a massive humanitarian crisis and political firestorm. Kerlikowske points out that anyone who has arrived in the US illegally since July last year is a priority for deportation and that the journey itself is so hazardous that many die en route.