FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Parent Who Had Been Deported Reuniting With His Son In 2021?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows one of nine parents who reunited with their children on Feb. 3 after being separated at the border by the Trump administration.

Verdict: False

The photo dates back to January 2020, when nine parents, including the Guatemalan man pictured, were able to reunite with their children.

Fact Check: 

President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week establishing a task force to help reunite families that were separated under former President Donald Trump’s administration, according to CBS News. The image, which shows a screen grabbed Feb. 3 tweet, claims to show one of nine parents who were allegedly reunited with their children earlier this month.

“Nine parents deported by the Trump administration landed back into the U.S. Wednesday to reunite with children they had not seen in a year and a half,” reads the tweet. “Some of the children were at the airport to greet them, including David Xol’s 9-year-old son Byron.”

However, the photo was not taken in 2021. Check Your Fact conducted a reverse image search and found that the image, taken for the Associated Press, dates back to January 2020. David Xol-Cholom, who is pictured hugging his child, and eight other parents who had been deported under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy were able to return to the U.S. in January of last year, the outlet reported.

“David Xol-Cholom, of Guatemala hugs his son Byron at Los Angeles International Airport as they reunite after being separated about one and half years ago during the Trump administration’s wide-scale separation of immigrant families, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Los Angeles,” reads the caption of the Associated Press’ photo.

The reunifications occurred after a federal judge found that the families had been unlawfully prevented from seeking asylum by the U.S. government, according to the Associated Press. The outlet also published a YouTube video that shows the parents being reunited with their children, including Xol-Cholom reuniting with his son.

The Twitter user whose tweet was screen grabbed and posted on Facebook later acknowledged in a subsequent tweet that the photo had been miscaptioned. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Migrant Children ‘In Cages In America’?)

“It was just brought to my attention that this took place a year ago. But I’m still very happy to have attention brought to this critical topic,” the user tweeted on Feb. 4. “David and Byron were reunited in January 2020 under federal court order, not yesterday.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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