The Department of Homeland Security airs the ads in Mexico and Central America to warn people about the dangers of illegal passage to the United States.
But in an expansion of the program, DHS this week will begin airing similar ads in Florida, Georgia, and Washington -- key immigrant destinations.
Officials say the U.S. ads are intended for several audiences: victims of human trafficking already in the United States, good Samaritans who want to report suspicious activity, and U.S. residents who may be considering paying for a relative's illegal passage, unwittingly putting them in harm's way.
The theme of the campaign: "No Te Enganes -- Don't Be Fooled."
"The message goes out to them today: Do not be fooled. Do not fall into this situation where you may be placing a loved one into a pipeline of slavery," said David Aguilar, deputy administrator of Customs and Border Protection.
U.S. officials say human smugglers have grown increasingly ruthless, often robbing migrants of their money and identification cards and coercing them into force labor, sexual exploitation or even slavery. Migrants may think they are dealing with human smugglers who are "transportation-based," but end up victims of human traffickers, who are "exploitation- based," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Kumar C. Kibble.


A TV ad shows a girl trapped in a large cage, being forced to sing by her captors
More here: Dramatic TV ads sell anti-human-trafficking message: 'Don't Be Fooled' - CNN.com