Central American migrants apprehended at the border claimed to have been encouraged by local newspaper advertisements that promised work opportunities and free assistance from the U.S. government.
“The whole word knows, they put it in the news. They tell us everywhere if you come to the United States, they’ll help you,” said a Honduran woman apprehended at the southern border near the Rio Grande Valley. Speaking to CBS 4 news, a local news outlet, she and her family claimed they decided to make the trek to the U.S.-Mexico border after seeing several advertisements.
Numerous ads in Central America, reportedly paid for by operatives in the human smuggling business, are promising locals jobs and free help from the U.S. if they reach the border.
“Yes, we’ve been told that, we read it on our newspapers. That’s why we’re here,” said a Guatemalan pastor who was also apprehended in the Rio Grande valley area.
Additionally, the ads are telling readers that they have a better chance of getting through law enforcement if they bring a child: “We’ve been told if you are a father you can bring your child and you will be helped here if you’re in that situation,” the pastor explained.