by Jason Hopkins
A Border Patrol agent said there are radio advertisements playing in Central America, encouraging locals to flee to the U.S. illegally to obtain the “American dream.”
“The word is definitely out. They have advertisements by radio. You listen to your radio on your way to work — on your way to the grocery store. And that country is advertising, ‘If you want the American dream, we’ll help you out — we’ll teach you how to get it in the United States,’” an unidentified border agent said to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.
Bartiromo toured the southern border in the El Paso Sector, a region the agent described as “probably the busiest area in the country” in terms of illegal immigration.
The Fox News host spotted a family crossing the border as she was filming, meeting one Ecuadorian woman with an infant who said she had been traveling for two months. The agent said they are encountering an “unprecedented” number of family units.
Advertisements, paid for by human smugglers, encouraging Central Americans to migrate to the U.S. have become more prevalent in recent time, with many illegal aliens claiming they were prompted to make the trip specifically because of the promises made in those ads.
“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,” a Honduran woman told agents when she was apprehended near the Rio Grande Valley.
A Guatemalan migrant caught that same day made similar statements.
The human smuggling business has been booming in Central America. A study by the RAND Corporation estimated human smugglers transporting people from the Northern Triangle — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — to the U.S. raked in somewhere between $200 million to $2.3 billion in revenue in 2017.
Migrants are also told they have a much higher chance of reaching the interior of the U.S. if they bring children. The result has been a total of 3,000 “fraudulent families” appearing at the U.S.-Mexico in the past six months alone, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The department is adopting tactics to bring down the migrant child rings smugglers use to get people past border enforcement.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Jason on Twitter.