TikTok users are targeting migrants with misinformation
(NewsNation) — Videos aimed at desperate migrants are making their way across social media platforms, including TikTok.
One in particular shows a user telling Venezuelans they can migrate to the U.S. without getting a visa.
“It broke my heart because you can see the hope coming through in these comments,” Adriana Rivera, who works for the Florida Immigrant Coalition, told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Friday.
Rivera called the claims in these videos outrageous, noting that the videos have now been seen and shared tens of thousands of times. Rivera went on to note that the U.S. already faces an overwhelming situation at its borders. She questioned whether the videos are part of an operation “by bad actors who are just looking to create chaos and confusion.”
This fiscal year alone, there have been more than 2.2 million migrant encounters — up more than 200,000 from the year before.
Allen Orr, the immediate past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told “Rush Hour” on Friday that the videos are in bad taste.
“It happens over and over again in these countries that have a lot of internal turmoil and that have constant migration to the (U.S.) southern border,” Orr said.
“I think these videos add to the desperation of the economic affairs around the world and the desperation that people have to come here,” Orr said.
Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acknowledged the spread of disinformation can affect border security.
Misinformation aimed at migrants was something the Disinformation Governance Board was set to tackle, before the DHS formally terminated the board last month but the unchecked videos keep popping up, followed by likes, shares, and often shared to migrants at the U.S. border.
“Think about it, if you are trying to leave Venezuela in the state that this country is in and you see a video telling you visas are going to be given out … if you’re desperate, and these people are desperate, what are you going to do what are you going to think? It’s just bad all around,” Rivera said.
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