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Photos show detention centers under Obama not Trump

June 24, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: The Trump administration was responsible for the treatment of migrants captured in photos that showed them wrapped in Mylar sheets and packed into cells inside detention centers. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photos showing a group of migrants wrapped in Mylar sheets, packed into cells and sleeping on concrete floors were taken in 2015 when Barack Obama was president. 

THE FACTS: Social media users began sharing the incorrectly captioned photos last week, following Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comment comparing migrant detention centers to concentration camps. Her comment spurred members of the public to post photos of migrants in detention centers. 


The photos that were falsely captioned and tweeted in recent days had been cropped to remove a 2015 timestamp that would have shown when they were taken. 

The photos were originally released in 2016 as evidence used in a lawsuit citing inhumane conditions against U.S. Border Patrol. The Associated Press reported in August 2016 that the images were taken from cell surveillance video captured in Arizona detention facilities. 

In the footage from the Arizona facilities, the faces of the migrants were blacked out.  

At the time, the National Immigration Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union fought in court to get the photos released. 


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: