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Feds to Wage Ad Campaign to Stem Dangerous Treks to U.S. Border

The federal government is trying to change the message that Central Americans are getting about what awaits them if they journey to the U.S. border.
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U.S. officials struggling to deal with a crush of children and undocumented immigrants arriving on the Texas-Mexico border are waging a war of words to keep more from coming. Many children and other immigrants have arrived from violent and impoverished countries after hearing that families and the young get to stay in the U.S once they make it across. Now, the federal government is trying to counter with a Spanish-language campaign essentially designed to frighten those considering the journey.

The warning: Those who risk such journeys could be easy prey for ‘coyotes’ and criminal organizations, be robbed or subjected to violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking or forced labor. More, federal officials warn: Don’t believe the smugglers. Those who make it will end up in line for deportation.

Customs and Border Protection said the campaign will target areas of the country with high Central American populations such as Houston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Miami in an attempt to stop immigrants in the U.S. from encouraging family members to cross. Ads will also run in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. About 6,500 announcements will run on television and radio, and messages will be placed on billboards as well, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

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