Footage of people climbing border wall into the U.S. is not recent

By: Nikolaj Kristensen
February 9 2024

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Footage of people climbing border wall into the U.S. is not recent

(Source: Facebook/TikTok/Screenshots)


The Verdict Misleading

One of the clips in the video has been circulating since December 2022, the other since at least May 2023.

Claim ID b62425ca


A video that shows men climbing a ladder over a wall to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. is being shared on Facebook amid growing border tensions. 

Uploaded earlier this week, the caption of the video states, “Look how Romanians jump the fence! This is how Romanians cross illegally from Mexico to America!.” It has amassed close to 14,000 likes. 

According to the Facebook profile, the user who shared the video is a Romania native who now lives in the U.K. The video can also be found on TikTok, uploaded by an account that appears to belong to the same person since the profile image and alternative name are the same.

The clips in the video, however, are not recent. One of them has been circulating since at least December 2022. 

In fact

Through reverse image search of keyframes from both clips, we found that the first has been online since at least December 1, 2022. It was uploaded to a Russian YouTube account with claims that it shows Chechens, not Romanians, crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. 

The second clip has been circulating since at least mid-May 2023. It was covered by a Colombian media organization. 

We found a higher-quality version of the first clip that does not have text blocking out the screen. This version of the clip is slightly longer, and toward the end, the camera pans out, revealing a mountain on the horizon. 

We grabbed a screenshot of the mountain and put it through GeoSpy, an AI geolocating tool, according to which the mountain seen in the footage is part of the Cuyamaca Mountains in Southern California. Through a search on Google Maps, we found that Mexican border town Tecate overlooks the mountains. 

GeoSpy tells us the mountain is part of the Cuyamacas, overlooked by the town of Tecate. (Source: GeoSpy/Google Maps/Screenshots)

Halfway through the video clip, the camera pans out over the neighboring roofs. We notice a couple of things: A dark gray roof running into a red one, the border fence rising over a small hill with a white monument behind the cables. Looking at satellite images on Google Maps, we trace along the border fence in Tecate until we find a roof that matches the one in the video.

The dark grey and red roof on Google Maps' satellite images (right) matches the one in the video (left). (Source: TikTok/Google Maps/Screenshots)

We drop the Google Street View guy in front of this building structure and look up the road where we see the same small hill with the monument on top. 

Looking up the street in Street View (right) we see the small hill and monument from the video (left). (Source: TikTok/Google Street View/Screenshots)

Looking north, we see the same mountain as in the video clip. The Street View images are from October 2017. This was before the new wall was built in 2019.

The mountain peak, the landscape and the buildings north of Tecate as viewed in Street View (right) matches those seen in the video (left). (Source: TikTok/Google Street View/Screenshots)

We copied the coordinated from Google Maps and used PeakVisor, an online tool that identifies peaks, to verify the mountain in the video as Potrero Peak.

PeakVisor identifies the mountain seen in the video as Potrero Peak. (Source: PeakVisor/TikTok/Screenshots)

There’s evidence to suggest the second clip was recorded at the same location: The position of a light pole in relation to buildings and distinctive vegetation across the border fence.

The lightpole, vegetation and buildings as viewed in Street View (left) matches the second clip of the video (right). (Source: Google Street View/TikTok/Screenshots)

During our research, we found a couple of other clips from the same location of similar border crossings. 

Logically Facts has reached out to locals in Tecate for information on the exact origin of the clips. This article will be updated if and when we hear back from them. 

Tensions on the U.S.-Mexico border have increased over the past months and are expected to be a defining issue in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Arrests for illegal crossings have recently reached record highs. On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the U.S. Senate blocked legislation that was supposed to address the issues due to concerns that it didn’t go far enough. 

The verdict

The clips in the video do show people crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. However, the clips are not recent. The claim that the people in the video are Romanian is unfounded. The videos have been shared amid growing tensions on the U.S.-Mexican border. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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