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Social Media Posts Mislead on Harris Border Journey

Speedy Just take

Some well known online posts advise that Vice President Kamala Harris’ journey to El Paso is “over 1000 miles away” from the “border disaster.” It is true that other areas — together with the Rio Grande Valley — are suffering from greater amounts of border action, as critics have noted, but El Paso is a hotspot for unlawful immigration.

Full Tale

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to the U.S. southern border in El Paso on June 25 — a move that arrives amid an influx of immigrants illegally crossing the border. It adopted criticism by Harris’ political opponents that she had not however gone to see the challenges firsthand.

In the days leading up to the trip, the preference of area turned a issue of criticism, much too.

Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, identified as the location of El Paso “politically safer.” And Politico cited two unnamed sources in reporting that the location for Harris’ journey was selected in component “because El Paso is in much less of a crisis than other places.”

But some well-known on the web posts took the critique even more, leaving the deceptive effect that El Paso, in the western corner of Texas, was not truly a stop by to the “border” (quotation marks theirs) or that the “border crisis” didn’t apply to El Paso.

“Kamala finally has an approaching border vacation. Issue is, she’s going to El Paso,” reads a Facebook write-up shared far more than 1,200 occasions. The submit functions a map pointing to the region of the Rio Grande Valley sector and labeling it the “border crisis” and noting the length to El Paso.

“What do you think about Kamala’s to start with trip to the ‘border’ over 1000 miles absent?” the post, which has also been shared on Instagram, continues. The publish provides no other context.

The El Paso space has in actuality witnessed a major uptick in Border Patrol action this fiscal yr in contrast to the similar time period of time previous calendar year, Customs and Border Safety data demonstrate. In May possibly, Border Patrol’s El Paso sector recorded 22,219 encounters — the 3rd optimum of the 9 sectors that month.

It is accurate, while, that other regions alongside the border (specifically the Rio Grande Valley sector) have skilled increased amounts and boosts in phrases of general Border Patrol exercise this year — as some critics of the vacation have famous.

The map remaining utilized in the Facebook and Instagram posts came from a June 23 tweet by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who criticized the site, creating, “After all that, @VP isn’t even likely to the correct location. Here’s a map.”

Cornyn later tweeted a thread, on June 25, in which he claimed that “El Paso has unquestionably been negatively effected by the Biden-Harris” administration’s guidelines, but explained the Rio Grande Valley was the “epicenter” of the trouble.

Searching at the uncooked figures of overall Border Patrol encounters by every sector, the Rio Grande Valley sector has in truth found the highest range of encounters — 271,927 — so significantly in fiscal 12 months 2021.

Other sectors have observed bigger charges of boosts in all round Border Patrol activity than Rio Grande Valley or El Paso, when in comparison to the similar time period in fiscal year 2020.

The Yuma sector in Arizona has seen a 738.6% increase in Border Patrol encounters this fiscal calendar year from previous, Michelle Mittelstadt, communications director for the Migration Policy Institute, pointed out in an e-mail to us, noting that there are different techniques to gauge the modifying action.

The Rio Grande Valley sector has claimed a 406.7% boost in in general Border Patrol action. And the El Paso sector has professional a 267.5% boost — the fifth-greatest charge — and rated fourth for the uncooked quantity of encounters.

Other info also exhibit that the El Paso space remains a hotspot — opposite to the impression of the Facebook and Instagram posts — even if it does not practical experience the exact quantity as some other sectors.

Mittelstadt noted that Border Patrol figures display “the El Paso sector has experienced among the the most swift boosts in encounters of unaccompanied youngsters (ranking 3rd in yr-above-year % modify just after Yuma and Big Bend) and ranks fourth between sectors in conditions of the improve in encounters of one adults.”

On the initial point, the El Paso sector observed a 232% boost in encounters with unaccompanied migrant young children from October through March (8,636), as opposed with the exact same interval in fiscal year 2020 (2,598).

Although the rate was marginally bigger than Rio Grande Valley’s charge of 230%, the uncooked figures demonstrate Rio Grande Valley experienced the most encounters with unaccompanied youngsters (20,964) of all the sectors, as of March.

Editor’s take note: is one particular of numerous organizations functioning with Fb to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our past tales can be found here.


Daniels, Eugene. “Harris appears to shift the narrative at the southern border.” Politico. 25 Jun 2021.

Jaffe, Alexandra. “On border tour, Harris cites ‘progress’ in ‘tough’ scenario.” Associated Push. 25 Jun 2021.

Lippman, Daniel. “Kamala Harris is established to pay a visit to the border.” Politico. 23 Jun 2021.

Mittelstadt, Michelle. Director of communications, Migration Coverage Institute. Email to 24 Jun 2021.

Press Briefing by Push Secretary Jen Psaki.” White Household. 23 Jun 2021.

Rogers, Katie and Zolan Kanno-Youngs. “Following Criticism More than Her Border Absence, Harris Will Check out El Paso.” New York Occasions. 23 Jun 2021.

Southwest Land Border Encounters (By Element).” U.S. Customs and Border Safety. Updated 9 Jun 2021.

U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions by Sector.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Accessed 24 Jun 2021.

Vice President Harris Holds Briefing at Southern Border.” C-SPAN. 25 Jun 2021.

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