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Biden administration announces new operation to crack down on human smuggling

April 27, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 1: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on March 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Mayorkas discussed the Biden administration's plans for overhauling immigration policy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Biden administration announced Tuesday an operation focused on disrupting transnational criminal organizations, including human smugglers who have facilitated the illegal crossings of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

(CNN)The Biden administration announced Tuesday an operation focused on disrupting transnational criminal organizations, including human smugglers who have facilitated the illegal crossings of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

The administration has been up against human smugglers who in some cases have marketed their services on Facebook, a platform critics say has failed to uphold its content moderation commitments, and spread misinformation through word of mouth, encouraging migrants to journey north.

Advocates have in part blamed a Trump-era policy put in place during the pandemic that allows border officials to swiftly expel migrants encountered at the border for pushing migrants to smugglers.

Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller underscored the dangers of human smuggling, saying Tuesday: "CBP routinely rescues migrants who have been abandoned by these smugglers in harsh terrains, leaving them for dead with no food or water. "

In fiscal year 2021, the agency has rescued 4,766 migrants along the US southern border.

And in fiscal year 2020, Border Patrol located 250 migrants who died during their journey, Miller added.

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