Meta's Human Smuggling Policies Contribute to Drug Crisis, GOP Lawmaker Says

Kat Cammack: Meta policy allows trafficking, exacerbates flood of drugs and weapons across border

Some of the thousands of immigrants sheltered near the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas / Reuters
February 10, 2022

Meta's policy decision to allow human smuggling solicitations on its platforms is enabling the criminal activity of drug cartels, according to Rep. Kat Cammack (R., Fla.).

In a letter obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon that was sent to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Cammack alleges the Facebook parent company is exacerbating the migration crisis and contributing to the flood of drugs and weapons across the southern border by providing a forum where drug cartels can coordinate illegal border crossings and trafficking for transnational criminal organizations.

"I am confident Meta understands that social media companies are the primary methods of communication individuals use when organizing illicit border crossings and trafficking," Cammack wrote. "As a result, this company policy surely has a direct impact on the border crisis and is making it worse."

Cammack's letter comes after a Free Beacon report detailing an internal Meta memo announcing it would continue to allow the solicitation of human smuggling on its platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram. The company said it reached its decision after consulting with a variety of experts on the topic of migration and human smuggling.

"As you well know, the ongoing situation at the Southwest border is a humanitarian crisis. Cartels exploit
individuals seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally," Cammack writes. "Due to the record volume of illegal crossings, Border Patrol agents are required to take care of children and process migrants, while their primary role of securing the border is secondary."

Cammack initially wrote to Meta in May 2021 expressing concern that the company was doing little to counter human trafficking efforts on Facebook. In her letter, she flagged a number of Facebook groups openly advertising human smuggling services with names such as "Travel to America," in Spanish.

Earlier this month, the Free Beacon reported on a letter sent by Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) to Zuckerberg alleging that Meta may be engaged in criminal conduct by allowing the solicitation of human smuggling.

Meta, which has seen its stock drop by more than 30 percent in a month, has been the subject of scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats alike over its business practices. Lawmakers have introduced legislation in the past year to regulate the content allowed on its platforms.