By: Rajini KG
May 11 2023
A 2018 image of a Honduran migrant caravan moving toward the U.S. has been misrepresented as a migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border.
The United States of America is planning to lift Title 42 restrictions at borders when the U.S. COVID-19 public health emergency ends. Former President Donald Trump imposed the COVID-19 restriction, known as Title 42, in 2020. It enables border officials to send large numbers of migrants to Mexico, according to a Reuters report.
Against this backdrop, an image claiming to show migrants invading the U.S.-Mexico border has surfaced on social media. Bernard B Kerik, a former police commissioner of the New York City Police Department, shared the image and wrote, "This invasion of the U.S. is authorized by @JoeBiden's @WhiteHouse and being supported by @SenSchumer @SpeakerPelosi and the @TheDemocrats @HouseDemocrats @SenateDems Who is going to financially support these people? The American taxpayer!"
The image shows a group of people holding flags of Mexico, the Republic of Honduras, and Guatemala, walking on a bridge. Many users shared this image, claiming it depicts the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
However, the image shows the Honduras migrants' caravan moving toward the U.S. in 2018. The image was not captured in 2023.
A reverse image search of the viral image led us to the website of photographer Guillermo Arias. The same image was found on his website, along with other images captured tracking the caravan's movement. The description of the photographs states that in search of a better life, thousands of migrants from Central America are crossing the border in massive groupings and moving toward the U.S. Most people are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. However, the website doesn't mention the date of the image captured.
Logically Facts found that Guillermo Arias is a photojournalist at Agence France Presse (AFP). AFP published the viral image in one of its stories on September 10, 2019. The photo was captioned as "Aerial view of Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the U.S., as they leave Arriaga on their way to San Pedro Tapanatepec, in southern Mexico on October 27, 2018." Guillermo Arias shared his experience on the coverage of the migration of people from Central America to the United States in the report. The largest annual festival for photojournalism, "Visa Pour L'Image," awarded him for his work.
The Washington Post also published the same image on October 19, 2018, titled: "The caravan of Honduran migrants heads toward San Pedro Tapanatepec." According to DW, around 3,000 to 5,000 migrants from Central America fled their countries after facing increased violence, poverty, and lack of job security. Mexico's government announced in October 2018 that migrants from the caravan who consented to apply for asylum in Mexico would receive assistance from the government. Therefore, this confirms that the image is from 2018.
A five-year-old image from Mexico showing Central Americans moving toward U.S. borders was misrepresented as an image recently captured at the US-Mexico border.