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The Biden administration announced Tuesday an operation aimed at fighting transnational criminal organizations, including human smugglers who facilitate the illegal crossings of migrants at the US-Mexico border.
The administration has taken on human traffickers who, in some cases, market their services on Facebook.
Precisely, a platform that, according to critics, has not fulfilled its content moderation commitments and has spread misinformation by word of mouth, encouraging migrants to travel north.
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“We will identify the traffickers and their partners, and we will use a series of specific actions and sanctions against them.
We will have a broad and strong focus.
It will include all the authorities in our arsenal, "Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of National Security, told reporters.
That includes the revocation of travel documents, the suspension and disqualification of business entities.
Also the freezing of bank assets and other financial assets linked to the networks.
Earlier this year, the United States launched an international campaign to deter migrants from undertaking the dangerous journey at the hands of smugglers.
Its dissemination was made through advertisements on social networks and radio.
Now officials are stepping up their efforts targeting smugglers.
Several federal agencies will be part of the operation.
From the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the FBI and the State Department.
The United States will also rely on foreign partners, Mayorkas said, including Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries.
Human trafficking incidents at the border
This is how the Border Patrol rescued two Honduran immigrant children 1:58
Human trafficking incidents along the southern border of the United States have made national headlines recently.
In one case, the Border Patrol released a video of two young Ecuadorian sisters being thrown over a 1.2-meter-high border fence in the desert.
Activists have blamed in part a Trump administration policy - which was implemented during the pandemic and allows border officials to swiftly expel migrants at the border - for driving migrants into the hands of migrants. trafficker.
The Biden administration continues that policy, despite criticism.
Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller underscored the dangers of human trafficking.
“CBP routinely rescues migrants who have been abandoned by these smugglers on difficult terrain.
Leaving them for dead without food or water, "he said on Tuesday.
In fiscal year 2021, the agency rescued 4,766 migrants along the southern United States border.
And in fiscal year 2020, the Border Patrol located 250 migrants who died during their journey, Miller added.