US Customs and Border Protection intends to spend $1.2m on print, radio and television adverts in four nations to the south of the United States border in a bid to dissuade undocumented immigrants from believing that they can immediately move to the US.
The amount of immigrant families that federal agents have apprehended trying to enter the United States fell 51% between July and September this year, according to US Customs and Border Protection, with spokesman Jamie Ruiz saying that radio adverts are used in Central America and Mexico by people smugglers to reach those considering trying to cross the border and move to the United States. “The spot goes something like this – ‘Hey, get a better life for your family, yourself. This is the phone number, this is the hotline, it will be easy’,” Ruiz notes. To combat this, the United States has decided to purchase adverts that will run in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. A similar ad campaign was run last year by the US government to the tune of $1m.
Over the course of the last 12 months, the bodies of over 300 people have been discovered along the border, according to Ruiz. “It’s a deadly trap,” he points out, adding that US Customs and Border Protection is rescuing people every day from life-threatening situations caused by their attempt to cross the border and enter the United States.