Videos circulating on social media accounts purportedly are showing migrant kids being marked with numbers on their hands and arms.One video posted by an NBC News reporter on his Twitter, which claims to be shot at the US-Mexican border, displays toddlers and young children stretching out their arms, exposing short number sequences that were likely drawn with a marker.The video does not present any information on who drew the numbers or for what purpose, but the implication points to American border officials being responsible for the marking, likely as a cataloguing technique.
The numbers evidently evoke memories of Auschwitz, when Nazis tattooed Jews with numbers, partly as a sorting system but also to strip victims of their human identity. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, these tattoos became one of the most widely known symbols of the horrors Jews had to endure during World War II.The comment sections of the videos mirror this notion, with people expressing horror at the measure and drawing comparisons to the Holocaust.The children on the video are likely Honduran refugees who reached the US-Mexican border as part of the mass migration caravan.Since early 2018, groups of Central American migrants have been traveling northwards towards the US border in the hopes of crossing into the US. Many of the groups joined together along the way to increase their impact. The Trump Administration reacted by sending thousands of troops to the southern border and promising that they wouldn’t let any migrants cross into the US illegally.Children, with numbers on their arms & their lives on the line wait to cross into the US from Juarez, Mexico. More tonight with @Lawrence on @TheLastWord #MSNBC pic.twitter.com/J4k7NWwNzP— Cal Perry (@CalNBC) December 15, 2018