A video shared on social media shows gates open at the US-Mexico border in Arizona. But these statements lack context about when and why this activity began.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also shared one of the viral posts on X.
Posts imply that the Biden administration is allowing people to illegally enter the United States due to open ports, with one person writing, “Biden Border Crisis.”
Will the Biden administration patch up the border opening in Arizona?
While it is true that some border crossings at the US-Mexico border in Arizona have been opened, online statements lack context.
Customs and Border Protection opens seasonal storm gates to protect the border fence from flood damage during the monsoon season. This practice predates the Biden administration.
WHAT WE FOUND
While it is true that some border gates in Arizona have been opened, online statements still lack important context about when and why the operation began.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) opens storm gates during the monsoon season to protect the border fence from the effects of flooding. This practice predates President Joe Biden’s administration.
VERIFY traced the viral video to one The original video shows the gate being welded open at the border wall near Lukeville, Arizona. It was recorded and posted by NewsNation reporter Ali Bradley.
Bradley wrote in his post on X that the teams “open the gates at the beginning of the monsoon season every year and they stay open until the monsoon season ends.”
CBP explained to VERIFY that heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, officially begins on June 15 and runs through the end of September in Arizonacould cause flooding and debris accumulation that threatens the structural integrity of border barriers.
2021 report from VERIFY partner station KPNX shows damage to a section of border wall near Douglas, Arizona caused by monsoon storms. Flooding from monsoon rains has ripped off nine border wall gates and left others buried in mud.
The border wall is designed with stormwater outlets that are opened during the monsoon season, as shown in a video that went viral online.
“The Tucson Sector fence was constructed at various times between 2009-2021 and throughout the infrastructure’s history, during the monsoon season and in advance of potential heavy rains or flooding In addition, CBP has opened stormwater gates to ensure proper drainage and minimize potential impacts to infrastructure,” a CPB spokesperson told VERIFY in an email.
Opening border gates to prevent flood damage is not new under the Biden administration.
Some online claims about opening the border imply that it will allow migrants to enter the US more easily
A report published by the Associated Press in September 2023 said some migrants walked through open storm gates at the border wall into the US.
But a CBP spokesperson told VERIFY that the agency continues to enforce federal immigration laws when the gates are open, including deporting people who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.