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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero May 9, 2023

Photo does not show an asylum seeker from Honduras

If Your Time is short

  • This claim first appeared in 2018, when a caravan from Honduras made its way to the United States border. The photo is not of an asylum seeker from that group; it’s from a 2009 adult photoshoot.

A photo on social media claims to show a woman who was granted asylum in the U.S. It misled people five years ago — and it’s back attempting to do the same again.

"This is Susana González. She was part of the caravan from Honduras. She escaped Honduras because of starvation and lack of work. She is the first person of the caravan to be granted Asylum," read the text on a photo posted May 4 on Facebook. It appears to be a screenshot of another social media post.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Fact-checkers first debunked the claim in 2018, and found that the image has been online since at least 2009.

A reverse-image search using TinEye shows photos with the same text dating to April 2018, which are screenshots of a tweet. Around that time, a caravan of migrants mainly from Honduras was making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border.

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The Twitter account pictured in the screenshots is now private, but fact-checkers found that the tweet was dated April 6, 2018. The photo caption said, "After being granted Asylen (sic) from a California Immigration Judge, she entered El Paso, Texas from Juarez, Mexico." But the group that approached the U.S. border in 2018 reportedly sought asylum in a different location, between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego.

The photo does not show a migrant from the caravan. We searched news reports and government statements and found no evidence that the woman in the photo was an asylum seeker.

A reverse-image search led to adult websites, and showed that it was part of a pornographic set of photos. 

This post and other false claims about migrants have surfaced in the past week, as Title 42 —  a public health policy that has prevented many migrants from applying for asylum at the southern U.S. border — is set to expire May 11, which officials suspect will lead to a surge in migration. 

We rate the claim that this photo shows the first person from a Honduras caravan to be granted asylum in the U.S. False.

RELATED: Title 42 expiration: What's next for migrants applying for asylum at US’ southern border?

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Photo does not show an asylum seeker from Honduras

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