Fact Check

Did a Crowd of Migrants Invade the US Border in May 2023?

With Title 42 COVID-19-related restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border set to expire on May 11, 2023, claims about "border invasion" intensified.

Published May 8, 2023

 (Image Via @BernardKerik/Twitter)
Image Via Image Via @BernardKerik/Twitter
A photograph authentically showed a crowd of migrants "invading" the U.S. border in May 2023.

On May 7, 2023, Bernard Kerik, former police commissioner of the New York City Police Department, tweeted an image of migrants on a bridge and claimed that it was an invasion of the U.S. authorized by U.S. President Joe Biden and supported by Democratic Party leaders in Congress.

"This invasion of the US is authorized by @JoeBiden's @WhiteHouse and being supported by @SenSchumer @SpeakerPelosi and the @TheDemocrats @HouseDemocrats @SenateDems," Kerik tweeted. "Who is going to financially support these people? The American taxpayer! I don't give a damn what party you are in, this is fucking wrong!"

(Image Via @BernardKerik/Twitter)

Kerik, a convicted felon pardoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump, didn't mention the exact location where migrants supposedly were "invading," but other tweeters said it was happening at "America's Southern Border." 

Although the photograph is real, Kerik's claim about the incident happening in May 2023 was false. The photograph is from 2018 and shows Honduran migrants.

BBC reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh called out the false claim. "This image is going viral today, shared by former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik and others," Sardarizadeh tweeted. "The image isn't current. It's from 2018 and shows Honduran migrants in Arriaga, Mexico, heading to the US."

He also shared a photograph from AFP news agency via Getty Images that showed the exact photograph. Part of the caption read: "Aerial view of Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the US, as they leave Arriaga on their way to San Pedro Tapanatepec, in southern Mexico on October 27, 2018."

Other tweeters made similar claims about the migrants invading the U.S. However, other Twitter users pointed out that the image was from 2018. Kerik had yet to respond to any of those tweets, as of this writing. We reached out to him asking if he stood by his claim, given that the photograph he tweeted was from 2018 and not 2023. We will update this report when – and if – we get a response.

The false claims about border invasion came amidst the backdrop of the approaching expiration of Title 42, a COVID-19-related restriction, to block migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The measure, adopted during the Trump administration and continued by the Biden White House, was set to expire on May 11. Reuters provided an explainer on Title 42.

Snopes has fact-checked a number of claims related to migrants at the border, including Biden telling migrants not to come to the U.S.-Mexico border and the authenticity of a border sign informing travelers that they would receive "lots of free stuff."


Hesson, Ted, and Ted Hesson. "Explainer: Title 42 Is Ending at the U.S.-Mexico Border. What Is It and What Happens Now?" Reuters, 6 May 2023. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/title-42-is-ending-us-mexico-border-what-is-it-what-happens-now-2023-05-05/.

"Trump Pardons Bernard Kerik: Why the Former N.Y. Police Commissioner Spent Time in Prison." NBC News, 18 Feb. 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-pardons-bernard-kerik-why-former-n-y-police-commissioner-n1138236.

Damakant Jayshi is a former writer for Snopes.