LOS ANGELES – Border patrol agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency have begun airing Spanish language ads on television and radio stations in Mexico to try and stem the flow of illegal immigrants (search) attempting to cross the often-dangerous Mexico-U.S. border.
The ads feature illegal immigrants talking about the scorching heat, which often soars over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, and the treacherous guides who abandoned them in the desert. Border Patrol (search) officials say the ads serve as a reality check for potential illegal immigrants.
“We're trying to reach out not only in the interior of Mexico (search) but as well in Latino communities along the border area so we can advise them that this border is dangerous," said Border Patrol spokeswoman Gloria Chavez.
According to CBP, there have been at least 165 deaths and more than 700 rescues of illegal immigrants in the American Southwest, an increase of nearly 40 percent over this time last year.
"If you decide to come here illegally and cross through these high-risk zones, you will die because this is the way that the border is out there, and regardless of what the smugglers tell you, regardless of what your relatives tell you,” said Chavez.
The Border Patrol has also produced “ranchera” songs, which are popular in the border area, such as one that tells the story of a young border crosser who gets thirsty, watches people die and returns to Mexico.
In Spanish, the lyrics translate to: "Since I was a kid, I was told a man never gives up. Now I'm on the other side, I realize that I was wrong."
The Mexican Consulate (search) in Tucson, Ariz., agrees that running the television, radio and print ads in northern Mexico is a good idea, and are running their own ads to discourage people from making the potentially deadly trek.
"Our position is not to say don't go,” said Juan Calderon, the Mexican consul in Tucson. “This is a preventative campaign. It's letting people know that it's dangerous to cross the desert."
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Adam Housley.