The U.S. Customs and Border has spent $US1 million on a new ad campaign aimed at persuading Central Americans not to illegally immigrate to the United States, the Associated Press reports.
One ad — set to air in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — is particularly jarring.
In it, a teenage boy is seen writing a letter to his uncle that describes the dangers his mother says will await him if he tries to cross the border — gangs, kidnappers, and a gruelling journey across the desert.
Still, the boy tells his uncle the money he can earn in the U.S. is worth the risk. Here, he says goodbye to his mother.
Suddenly, the ad cuts to a shot of the boy’s lifeless body in an empty dessert. The AP points to statistics from the Customs and Border Protection, which say 226 immigrants have died crossing the border since October.
The ad closes with the message, “They are our future. Protect them.”
Here’s the full ad:
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