Have you seen a viral video that claims to show migrants climbing a fence at the U.S.-Mexico border? It’s been going viral on Twitter and TikTok recently. But it doesn’t depict anything in North America. In fact, the video is from a Spanish territory in North Africa.
The video has been captioned with “The Southern border is a dystopian nightmare,” by right-wing influencer Lauren Witzke, who shared the video with her followers on Thursday.
But anyone who’s actually familiar with the U.S.-Mexico border will notice something’s not quite right. The barriers constructed at the actual border dividing the U.S. and Mexico don’t look like that. And there are plenty of other clues this video was shot in a territory of Spain.
For starters, take a look at the police vehicles. The video pans too quickly to be read easily, but the text reads Guardia Civil, the name for the Civil Guard in Spain. The Civil Guard’s vehicles also have a distinctive blue light on the top.
I’ve annotated a screenshot from the video below to point out the name of the Spanish agency as well as the blue light, which can be seen more clearly in the photo on the right.
It’s not clear precisely where the video was taken, but it looks to me like it could be near the Melilla border fence, a roughly 5-square mile spot in Morocco where colonial Spain carved out territory hundreds of years ago. Wherever it was shot, those are clearly Spanish police vehicles.
What does the southern border of the U.S. actually look like? It’s currently being outfitted with razor wire by the Texas National Guard, as you can see from the photo below taken on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden recently ordered the deployment of an additional 1,500 U.S. troops to the border in the lead up to May 11, when the covid-19 restrictions that kept many asylum seekers from entering the country, known as Title 42, will be rescinded.
Witzke, who helped promote the viral video with a false caption on Twitter, was a producer for the conspiracy theory “documentary” Died Suddenly, which purports to document people who’ve died from taking the covid-19 vaccine. But that film has been thoroughly debunked by news outlets like NBC News, which talked to some of the people who supposedly “died” from the vaccine. They’re very much alive.
There’s no question that the U.S. faces extreme challenges with an influx of asylum seekers, especially in places like El Paso, Texas, where tens of thousands of people are waiting across the border in Mexico for their chance to enter the U.S. But there’s no need to send around fake videos about a very real crisis at the border—especially if you’re sharing videos that are so clearly from Europe that you don’t know what the U.S. border even looks like.