President Joe Biden visited El Paso on Sunday some people are saying that the city only cleaned up some areas of the city JUST for the presidential.

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This article will examine if this is a.) true and b.) accurately reported.

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Let’s start with FitFam, who posted this on Saturday, the day before Biden’s visit.

 If you notice the dates, the “before” is from December 24, 2022, and the “after” is from Saturday, January 7th.  This may have been intended as satire by FitFam, but many callers were citing this as proof of a last-minute clean-up.

The side-by-side image is SO misleading, I’ve got to almost think it was an intentional satire about “misleading photos masquerading as news” on the part of FitFam.

President Joe Biden
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Mayor Oscar Leeser has been telling us for weeks that keeping migrants, especially children, from sleeping outside has been an “ongoing” effort by city workers, volunteers, and NGOs such as local church groups. The key word is “ongoing”. Biden’s visit wasn’t even officially announced until Thursday of last week, so a photo from Friday as the “before” would have been more accurate.

Somebody called and claimed that “early Sunday morning dozens and dozens of El Paso Police and sanitation workers cleared thousands of immigrants off the street”.

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Well, someone from EP Sanitation called in to say that their crews are doing clean-up in areas where migrants have been DAILY and that this has been going on for months, not just on Sunday. The caller cited his source as the BBC, but a search of their website’s coverage of the Biden visit didn’t turn up any such claim.

We had another caller, Moby from Juarez, who says that he crosses the border “2 or 3 times” each day. He told us there had been a noticeable uptick in clean-up efforts on Thursday and Friday after the presidential visit was announced.

Another caller cited the Border Patrol Union and their Tweet on Friday:

But, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection…the actual agency, not the union… responded by calling the BP Union’s Tweet false:

(Border Patrol) was conducting increased patrols before the President announced his visit to El Paso. - Border Patrol Spokesperson


Removals of migrants, mostly to Mexico to await processing, have been going on for weeks, not just since Biden’s travel plans were announced on Thursday.  Did the city do some “last-minute tidying-up” on Friday and Saturday?

Probably some, but nothing as large-scale as some of the claims made from right-wing sources (and I’m including the Border Patrol Union as a right-wing source).

Not quite a Potemkin village scenario but, still, I can understand people wanting the President to see the situation as “warts and all”.

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