A billboard is advising illegal women immigrants in the United States to secure a “sugar daddy” to prevent deportation.
A large billboard splayed across I-95 highway in South Austin is trying to address the problem of illegal immigrants in a unique and rather offensive way. The advertisement boldly suggests undocumented female immigrants should get themselves “sugar daddies” to avoid deportation. The billboard, located off Interstate 35 near William Cannon Drive in South Austin, reads,
“Undocumented immigrant? Before you get deported get a sugar daddy.”
Ad marketing 'sugar daddy' dating site to undocumented immigrants stirs anger https://t.co/QXvtO7Hi4x— Thus Spake (@thus_spake) October 21, 2016
The billboard features a stock image of a beautiful but frustrated-looking woman staring at the viewer. To further drive the message home, the designers of the billboard have cleverly placed the woman with what appears to be Mexico’s flag behind her. What the advertisement is not-so-subtly suggesting or even encouraging is that female undocumented or illegal immigrants should opt for the services of the company that offers “Sugar Daddy” dating options, and easily exploit the immigration laws.
Billboard tells illegal immigrants to "get a sugar daddy" to avoid deportation. This is a huge human trafficking threat. RT if you agree. pic.twitter.com/ahRmcdLcKN— International Harbor (@IntlHarbor) October 21, 2016
The billboard was posted on IH-35 near William Cannon Drive Friday and has already garnered a lot of publicity, but not of the good kind. The advertisement is very offensive and suggests easy, exploitative techniques to immigrants who wish to gain legal citizenship in the United States, noted Senior Immigration Specialist Thomas Esparza, Jr.
“On a billboard they’re encouraging people to commit a federal felony. It’s rare that you see a billboard that says, ‘Commit a felony.’”
The billboard was put up by ArrangementFinders.com. According to the company’s website, it is an “exclusive service that connects men and women looking for mutually beneficial arrangements.” In other words, the platform appears to be a dating service that condones or even encourages its patrons to get together with a predetermined agenda. While the men might be looking for a female companion, according to the billboard, all the women are seeking ways to legally stay in America.
Justifying the billboard and the message it attempts to convey, ArrangementFinders.com CMO Jacob Webster said,
“I think you’re going to have people that are against it and then you’re going to have people that are going to sign up for it. It was one of those moments where it was this intersection of what’s going on in society and what’s going on with our site.
“There’s no reason to take it down. There’s a demand for this sort of thing, as we’re getting x amount of signups due to the fact that this billboard is up.”
Though Austin apparently had no qualms with the billboard, Webster did face a lot of rejections from several other states,
“We had a couple approvals, but we got a lot more denials. All the major markets in terms of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Dallas denied us.”
It is quite apparent that the website appears to be a platform that promotes such activities that are exploitative in nature, noted Esparza,
“It’s insulting to foreign nationals who are in the removal process. It presumes that foreign nationals are going to commit a crime, or are more willing to commit a crime, and that they’re going to go to a website to participate in committing that crime. They could’ve just said, ‘Commit marriage fraud, call us.’”
Many civilians have opposed the billboard. Some noted that it is not only disrespectful to all women and illegal immigrants, but also plain offensive to openly offer a way to circumvent legal procedures, reported My San Antonio.
It is apparent the idea germinated as a response to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s direct comments about the immigration issue, reported Fox News. Trump had openly proclaimed that if elected, he would swiftly and actively deport undocumented immigrants in the United States.
According to Webster, Hispanic women constitute a third of all signups on ArrangementFinders.com, and the billboard specifically targets such a demographic, reported KVUE. However, should the platform openly advertise its ability to set these women up with sugar daddies?
[Featured Image by Aris Messinis/Getty Images]