(CNN Spanish) — Do not pay a “coyote” is the message of the US immigration authorities. United States immigration authorities launched a campaign to raise awareness among Central American migrants seeking to enter the country illegally so that they do not allow themselves to be convinced by smugglers or coyotes when crossing the border.
The initiative highlights that immigration laws have not changed and that entering the country illegally is a crime, and that those who do so will be immediately expelled from the country or enter deportation proceedings.
The campaign uses direct messages such as “The coyote scammed us”, “The coyote is a criminal, don’t fall into his trap”, “The coyote took our son from us”, among other messages.
“We want people not to expose themselves to being scammed, or that they put (other people) in danger, or what is worse, that they take them to death, which is what is happening a lot with the people who trust these smugglers,” said Luis Miranda, deputy commissioner for US Customs and Border Protection.
According to information from the agency, this campaign will last two months and they hope to reach migrants through social networks, cell phones, radio, among other means.
The US Border Patrol made more than 158,000 arrests on the border with Mexico during February of this year, an increase from January, when almost 148,000 arrests were recorded.
This campaign occurs when a judge temporarily prevented the government of President Joe Biden from putting an end to the use of Title 42, which allows the expedited deportation of undocumented immigrants on the grounds of health reasons. The government hoped to stop invoking that measure on May 23, but so far it is on hold. While thousands of migrants wait at the border with Mexico to enter the country if the use of Title 42 were to be suspended.
Although, according to the Biden administration, they will deport those who seek to enter the country illegally, whether Title 42 is in force or not.