Politics Ads discouraging illegal immigration are useless, ex-Trump officials say
Why Biden has an immigration policy problem
The border crisis issue is one of the first that puts Biden and his administration between a rock and a hard place. It's not clear looking at the data how to politically deal with the issue. For one thing, a flow of illegal immigration across the border divides the Democratic base. Plenty of Democrats would like to essentially decriminalize crossing the border illegally. This was the stance that Vice President Kamala Harris took during her bid for the presidency in the 2020 election cycle. NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist polling in late 2019 showed that 51% of Democrats thought such a position was a good idea.
The anti-illegal immigration ads federal agencies air in Central American countries are useless, former senior Trump officials say, undercutting one of the Biden administration's defenses of its border policies.
Some liberal immigrant groups also said the ads do not stop migrants from coming to the United States and added that there is no research to support their efficacy.
Political pressure from thepushed President Joe Biden to launch the ad campaign in January, with tens of thousands of radio ads in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in Spanish, Portuguese, and six indigenous languages. The ads played on 33 radio stations, reaching an estimated 15 million individuals, White House press secretary Jen Psaki at a press briefing last week.
Biden swore to overhaul immigration. But immigrants remain in limbo.
The president inherited a complicated puzzle: a convoluted immigration system designed to do the exact opposite of what he wants it to do. He’s only been in office for six weeks. And much of his energy has been focused on battling the pandemic. But he’s also being hampered by conflicting policies, staffing vacancies at the top, and in some instances, inaction. Foreign students who have been admitted to U.S. colleges this fall are struggling to secure visas, threatening to deprive U.S. colleges of billions of dollars for the second year in a row.
Psaki presented the ads as a meaningful example of actions taken by the Biden administration to help stem the tide of illegal migrants. Republicans havethe Biden administration of an "open borders agenda" and a "public health crisis."
Trump administration officials and some immigrant advocacy groups say the ads are not effective at actually reducing the flow of migrants, who are facingin government facilities and are at border towns at the same time.
The State Department, which is placing most of these ads in conjunction with embassies, said that "data shows mobile is the dominant source of media consumption in the region," and digital ads placed on Facebook and Instagram have reached more than 26 million people since Inauguration Day.
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Donald Trump once said he calculated his net worth, to a degree, on his "feelings," and that he put the "best spin" on some of the assets."I think everybody" exaggerates about the value of their properties.
Former Trump administration officials who dealt with border and migration issues say the technique, which has been used in varying forms since the Obama administration and was used by the Trump administration, has very limited effectiveness and should be ended.
“We analyzed the ads internally, and the results always showed the limited effectiveness of them,” said Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of Homeland Security, in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
He added that although tracking the effectiveness of a large number of ads was “hard to do,” internal Homeland Security data showed the number of illegal immigrants didn’t decrease thanks to the ads. Furthermore, qualitative data collected in the form of migrant interviews also showed the ads were not effective, he said.
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Apple's upcoming iOS update will force apps such as Facebook to ask users whether they want to allow tracking of data for personalized ads.When Apple updates iOS14, its iPhone and iPad operating system, in the next few weeks, you and up to about 1 billion or so of its users will face a decision: Do you want apps like Facebook to keep collecting data to offer personalized ads across other sites and apps?
“None of the illegal migrants who were interviewed by [Customs and Border Protection] or [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] said the ads we ran were a critical factor in them making the trip or not,” said Wolf.
Wolf added that although he sympathized with the Biden administration’s attempt to consider “every possible way to address the border problem,” he added, “I don’t know why the ads would work this time, but [they] didn’t work in the past like during my time at DHS.”
There is currently no research to support the kinds of informational ad campaigns the Biden administration has launched in South and Central America are actually effective at dissuading migrants from traveling to the U.S. border, according to aof migrant awareness-raising campaigns done by the United Nations.
Some liberal immigrant organizations like the American Immigration Council, an advocacy group opposed to former President Donald Trump's immigration policies, have said that there isthat the Biden administration's ads will actually stop illegal migrants from choosing to come to the U.S.
AP-NORC poll: Border woes dent Biden approval on immigration
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden is handling waves of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and approval of his efforts on larger immigration policy falls short of other top issues — suggesting it could be a weak point for the new administration. A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also shows that solving the problem of young people at the border is among Americans' highest immigration priorities: 59% say providing safe treatment of unaccompanied children when they are apprehended should be a high priority, and 65% say the same about reuniting families
One study by the International Organization for Migration, which looked at the effectiveness of Facebook posts trying to dissuade migrants in Guinea, Nigeria, and Senegal from illegally crossing borders within Africa in 2019 and 2020, were only found to have engaged 1 in 10 targeted Facebook users, with fewer people than thatby the ad.
The State Department was asked by the Washington Examiner to provide evidence that the ads worked, but it did not provide such details.
"The Department takes a data-informed approach to deploying digital and traditional modes of advertising. We use message testing and audience research to make content more engaging and persuasive to target audiences, including potential irregular migrants," a State Department spokesperson said.
Some senior Trump administration officials said the ads could have some positive effect if they were backed up by effective deterrence policies at the border.
“The bottom line is it’s useless to do migrant advertising that is contrary to the reality on the ground. Full stop. Period,” said Stephen Miller, who engineered most of Trump’s border and immigration policies from the White House. “People aren't stupid. If they know that they're getting in, then no one cares what your advertising says."
Opinion: How Congress can stand up for asylum-seekers' dignity
Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director Joanne Lin write it's time we end the use of expansive detention we've seen from prior administrations. And Congress must lead the way by passing the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, a measure that ends the use of private detention facilities. It would also restore judicial discretion and the ability of judges to make case-by-case decisions. It prohibits solitary confinement, ensures protections for the most vulnerable populations and stops family detention.
He added that if the Biden administration had a “100% repatriation policy,” or a policy of sending all illegal immigrants back to their home country or across the border, like the Trump administration did, then advertising that hard-line policy would make sense.
Top Trump officials said that most migrants trusted the word of family, friends, and smugglers over that of the U.S. government in deciding whether or not to make the daunting journey to the U.S. border.
“The ads are not super-effective because what they hear from open border advocates, smugglers, and their friends in America carries more weight than anything else,” said Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2019 to 2021.
Former Trump officials said the challenging state of affairs for migrants living in violent, poor parts of South and Central Americato do whatever it took to come to the U.S.
“The terrible conditions in a migrant's home country that exist and their ability to enter the U.S. under Biden’s border rules, that’s how they make their decision," a senior State Department official from the Trump administration said.
“The ads don’t reflect the reality. You can’t sell ads that aren’t truthful,” the official said.
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Study: Facebook delivers biased job ads, skewed by gender .
Facebook is showing different job ads to women and men in a way that might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws, according to a new study. University of Southern California researchers who examined the ad-delivery algorithms of Facebook and LinkedIn found that Facebook’s were skewed by gender beyond what can be legally justified by differences in job qualifications. Men were more likely to see Domino’s pizza delivery driver job ads on Facebook, while women were more likely to see Instacart shopper ads. The trend also held in higher-paying engineering jobs at tech firms like Netflix and chipmaker Nvidia.