A disturbing photo shocked the internet this week, showing a tearful boy clinging to the bars of a cage he appeared to be imprisoned inside of. It went viral after it was shared by Jose Antonio Vargas, the CEO of Define America, a pro-illegal alien organization, according to Twitchy.
“This is what happens when a government believes people are ‘illegal.’ Kids in cages,” wrote Vargas below the photo he shared on Twitter Monday.
It was retweeted by liberal celebrities and activists like Ron Perlman, Shaun King, and Linda Sarsour. They used it to decry any enforcement of our borders against illegal crossers, according to Twitchy. Perlman blamed Trump and his administration, and King called it “an abomination.”
In the midst of the outrage, someone contacted Vargas to let him know that the photo is part of a staged protest in Texas by the pro-illegal alien group Brown Berets. It was simply a setup. The caged boy can be seen in another photo walking freely outside the cage while adults stand inside of it with protest signs.
Nine hours after sharing the photo, Vargas had finally started asking people to verify its authenticity in case it wasn’t legitimate.
“Still trying to find a source for this photo,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Saw it on a FB friend’s timeline but looking for confirmation. Has anyone seen it elsewhere?”
As of Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. Eastern, he had still not removed the image. He argued that the image should still stay up because he says he’s personally witnessed kids being caged.
“I shared it bc [because] when I was detained in McAllen in 2014, I was with boys who were locked up. It wasn’t okay then; it’s not okay now,” he wrote in response to a supporter who questioned him still sharing it. “But my point in sharing it is this: I’ve been outraged for years.”
Last month, a video of two migrant children sleeping in a holding cell at the U.S.-Mexico border sparked national outrage toward President Trump. Sarsour and others were outraged until it was revealed that the images were taken during President Obama’s term in office.