Not Real News

President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting from the South Court Auditorium at the White House complex in Washington to discuss the importance of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Aug. 11. On Friday, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that $2.5 billion had been allocated toward a welcoming center for immigrants coming to the country illegally. The claims aren’t clear on the source of the supposed funding, but they imply a connection to a bipartisan infrastructure plan approved by the Senate on Tuesday. In fact, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed, the CBP projects funded by the bill did not include any “welcoming center.” The bill funds a range of infrastructure improvement projects at land ports of entry, including repairs, expansion and modernization of border facilities that, in some cases, have not been updated in decades. 

CLAIM: $2.5 billion of American tax dollars has been allocated toward a welcoming center for immigrants coming to the country illegally.

THE FACTS: The conservative blogging duo Diamond and Silk falsely claimed that American tax dollars are set to fund a multi-billion dollar welcoming center for immigrants arriving to the U.S. illegally. “Shame on any Republican who’s working with the B!den regime to completely destroy the Infrastructure of America,” the pair posted on Twitter and Facebook. “The 2.5 Billion allocated towards a ‘Welcoming Center for Illegal Aliens’ should be allocated towards LEGAL Americans only. After all, it is American tax dollars!”

It wasn’t clear to what the duo’s claim referred, but the closest match in federal legislation is the bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by the Senate on Tuesday. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act gives the General Services Administration about $3.4 billion for “construction and acquisition, and repairs and alterations of border stations and land ports of entry,” with $2.5 billion of that going toward items in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s five-year plan. CBP confirmed these projects did not include any “welcoming center.”

CBP sent the AP a statement noting, “There is no truth to that rumor.” Instead, the bill funds a range of infrastructure improvement projects at land ports of entry, including repairs, expansion and modernization of border facilities that, in some cases, have not been updated in decades.

Diamond and Silk told the AP they never claimed the bipartisan infrastructure bill provided funding for a welcoming center, but did not immediately respond to a request to identify another basis for their claim.