Turkish smugglers appear to be using social media platforms to help migrants from across the globe enter the U.S. illegally through the southern border, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of Telegram and TikTok posts.
The advertisements offer arrangements for travel, visas and transportation directly to the U.S.-Mexico border for migrants in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Border Patrol encounters of migrants crossing the southern border illegally have hit numerous records in recent years, with more than 2.2 million encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to federal data.
One smuggling advertisement shared on Telegram boasts a “GUARANTEED PASS” for $10,000, which includes a flight from Istanbul to Cancun, a Mexican visa, “CANCUN ENTRANCE,” a hotel room, a taxi, and “DELIVERY TO TIJUANA BORDER.”
“WE HAVE A ROAD FOR CITIZENS OF EVERY COUNTRY WHO CANNOT GET A MEXICO VISA AND FLY TO NICARAGUA,” the post reads.
The two Telegram channels, which have thousands of members, include videos and messages where migrants are thanking specific people. They also feature photos of passports stamped by Mexican authorities.
“This is the border. Thanks to you, we have arrived in the U.S.,” one man said in a TikTok post taken next to the border wall. The video shows migrants thanking “Volkan,” which is a Turkish name.
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