Fact Check

Is UN Chief 'Deeply Shocked' by Conditions at Migrant Detention Centers?

A news article published during the Trump Administration is being reshared on Facebook as if it were a breaking news story in 2021.

Published March 28, 2021

 (Twitter Screencapture / Washington Post)
Image courtesy of Twitter Screencapture / Washington Post
A Washington Post story headlined "Border Detention Centers: UN Chief Deeply Shocked by Conditions" refers to current immigration developments.

In late March 2021, a page of Bing search results displaying the headline "Border Detention Centers: UN Chief Deeply Shocked by Conditions" began to be shared amongst several pro-Trump Facebook groups and networks as if it were a recent news story:

While we do not know why the Bing page, as opposed to the actual article, is being shared, one benefit presented by such a strategy is that it obscures the original publication date of the article. This has, evidently, led people to believe the article is recent.

One Facebook user made the assertion, for example, that "President Trump NEVER, EVER treated any human being as inhumanely as YOU [Biden] are treating these people. YOU are responsible for this. YOU are caging kids. And congratulations, YOU have actually ‘deeply shocked’ the UN." In response to a similar post, another user mused "Imagine if President Trump allowed this."

The Washington Post story, however, was published on July 8, 2019, a time when Biden was decidedly not president of the United States. They describe the conditions as U.N. Human Rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet encountered during the Trump Presidency:

"United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Monday that she is 'appalled by the conditions' being forced upon migrants after they cross the southern U.S. border and admonished the federal government for failing to find noncustodial alternatives."

Because this report came out years before the people sharing it assert it to have come out, we rank the claim "Outdated."

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.