House Democrats Use Obama-Era Photos to Promote Hearing Into ‘Inhumane Treatment’ at the Border

July 10, 2019 Updated: July 10, 2019

House Oversight Committee Democrats have been called out for using photos of detention facilities from the Obama administration to promote their probe into the “inhumane treatment” of illegal immigrants at the southern border.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform posted a tweet on July 9 ahead of their subcommittee hearing “Kids in cages: Inhuman treatment at the border” to condemn President Donald Trump’s handling of the border crisis. The influx of illegal immigrants from Central America in recent months had overwhelmed border facilities, resources, and the immigration system.

The hearing, which is scheduled for July 10, is meant to examine the alleged “inhumane treatment of the children” in detention facilities under the Trump administration, but the tweet posted by the committee contained a photo taken by The Associated Press in 2014, which shows immigrants in an Arizona detention facility.

Trump War Room, a social media account maintained by the 2020 Trump campaign, was quick to point out and criticize the House Democrats for the blunder.

“House Democrats are promoting their ‘civil rights’ hearing on ‘kids in cages’ and ‘inhumane treatment’ with a photo from 2014, when Joe Biden was Vice President. So dishonest!” the campaign wrote in their post.

The campaign also posted a screenshot of the original photo that House Democrats cropped to use in their promotion.

“Here in red is the portion of the 2014 photo used by House Democrats today,” they wrote.

The House committee subsequently deleted the post.

Along with the Trump campaign, the committee’s Republican members also noticed the post and quickly pointed out the mistake.

“You all know that’s a picture from 2014, right? Remind us who was President then,” they wrote.

The Associated Press photo used by the House Democrats were previously linked to the Trump administration in error and widely reported by media outlets to falsely represent Trump’s policies.

In response, Trump said at the time, “Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages. They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires. Dems must agree to Wall and new Border Protection for good of country…Bipartisan Bill!”

This is not the first time opponents of Trump has used photos of detention facilities from the Obama administration to criticize the current administration.

Actress Nancy Lee Grahn came under fire after she falsely accused Trump of poor border facility conditions by posting photos that were actually taken under the Obama era in June.

The photos in question, which show detainees sleeping or sitting on the floor of the facility wrapped in aluminum emergency blankets, were actually taken from 2015. But the actress had posted a version of the photo with the time and date cropped out.

“Trump administration is forcing children 2 sleep on cement floor with an aluminum blanket & lights on all night. Sarah Fabian from DOJ argued in court that it was good enough & soap was unnecessary. Companies making 750 a kid a day to torture them,” Grahn wrote in her tweet on June 21.

Many people were quick to call the actress out for the misleading photos.

The photos, taken in 2015, were submitted in 2016 as part of a lawsuit against Border Patrol by The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Arizona, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Morrison & Foerster LLP, according to the American Immigration Council.

Moreover, according to the lawsuit, the caption of the second photo in Grahn’s post actually depicts men wrapped in Mylar sheets.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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