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Human Smugglers Using TikTok to Promote Illegal Border Crossings

TikTok Criticized for Facilitating Illegal Immigration

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Reports have surfaced that human smugglers are exploiting the popular social media platform TikTok in order to market their services of illegally crossing the US border along with a hefty price.

An in-depth report by USA Today highlights that migrants and smugglers utilize social media to gain insights on how to proceed with their journey adequately.

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The smugglers guarantee the illicit move to be safe and unnoticeable. They claim that the price may range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 if one’s journey starts in Guyana.

When asked about the legality of his services, the smuggler responded that many people use social media to promote unlawful activities, and the platform does nothing about it.

It is indeed an alarming trend that social media has become a hub for migrants seeking guidelines and smugglers advertising their nefarious services.

The United Nations International Organization for Migration has also expressed concerns about the trend of smugglers and migrants posting about their illegal activities specifically on TikTok.

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Every year, about 2 million people attempt to cross the southern US border illegally, of which many are extorted and abused by drug cartels controlling the smuggling routes in Mexico.

For some, the journey turns out to be deadly, with fatal river currents, jungles, and stretches of hot and dry terrain. According to data from CBP, 853 migrants passed away last year while attempting to cross illegally, the highest number on record.

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Representatives of TikTok, however, did not respond to USA Today’s request for comments. Although a statement was given, it was unclear whether the social media platform would take any action to curb the illegal activity on its premises.

According to reports, online platforms such as TikTok have been utilized to facilitating the work of smugglers while creating an environment for the manipulation of information regarding migration policies.

The Department of Homeland Security expressed concerns that the access to smuggling information has been growing rapidly, and platforms like TikTok contribute to the same.

This latest trend of illegal activities being advertised on the app is not new, but it is surprising to see a rise in the severity and boldness of the act. In a world where social media plays a crucial and influential role in shaping daily lives, the influence on illegal activities can not be negated either.

The Biden administration has been grappling with an influx of migrants at the southern border, and with smuggling activities on the rise, it is essential that the law enforcement agencies and social media platforms work seamlessly to curb these activities.

Illegal immigration has been a sensitive topic in conservative circles, and this recent trend will not sit well either. However, it is imperative to note that the root of illegal immigration lies in the policies of the concerned states and their inadequacy to provide better living conditions to their citizens.

In line with conservative sentiments, these policies need reform and stringent measures. A comprehensive plan is needed to balance the control of illegal immigration and the humane treatment of migrants and refugees.

Smuggling is not a new issue, but it is worrying to see it bloom on social media so quickly. These platforms need to be responsible for the activities that take place on their premises.

More importantly, information and guidelines need to be provided to young and impressionable users, who may fall prey to such touts.

The rise of social media has brought a new dimension to such illegal activities, and it becomes essential for law enforcement agencies to stay vigilant of such developments – and to act promptly. Authorities in concerned countries need to step up and address the issue with the seriousness it deserves.

While social media platforms need to implement better measures to ensure unwanted activities are eradicated from their services, it is essential that necessary actions are taken to assess and reform the migration policies in the states corresponding to the root cause of immigration.

An assessment of the living conditions and a comprehensive plan to provide a better life can help to guard against exploitation and abuse of naive individuals inspired by these smugglers’ promises.

In the meantime, it is up to the law enforcement agencies to stay vigilant and ensure that such malpractices on social media are adequately addressed, and smugglers face the consequences of their illegal activities.

Finally, as users and citizens of our society, it behooves us all to understand the impact our social media use can have on the world and to ensure that the platforms we frequent do not become instruments that only contribute to the world’s violence.

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