United Airlines flight 2094 took off from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on Monday night and landed in New York's LaGuardia Airport just a few hours later.
The claim circulating on social media is that United Airlines was still transporting children separated from their parents on the border despite their public denouncement of the policy last week.
But is that claim true? Here's what we verified.
A viral video first tweeted by activist Linda Sarsour started the uproar. The video shows what appears to be undocumented children arriving off UA flight 2094.
The video spread fast. It's been retweeted more than 4,000 times and has people bashing United demanding an explanation.
Here's why folks are confused about what's happening. Six days ago United released this statement:
“At United Airlines, we have been concerned about reports that commercial airlines have been used to transport immigrant children separated from their parents by a newly implemented immigration enforcement policy. Based on some research we have done internally and public reports, we have not seen evidence these children have been flown on United aircraft.
“Based on our serious concerns about this policy and how it’s in deep conflict with our company’s values, we have contacted federal officials to inform them that they should not transport immigrant children on United aircraft who have been separated from their parents. Our company’s shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world. This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it.”
So the question is, did the airline change its mind?
Here is how United is explaining what's in the viral video. The company released this statement Tuesday evening.
Last week, United asked the federal government to not transport children separated from their families under the zero tolerance policy, as it was in deep conflict with our mission of connecting people and uniting the world. Shortly after, the Administration reversed their policy with an executive order that ended the practice of separating children at the border. While the policy United opposed has ended, federal officials have made it clear they would continue to need to transport some immigrant children for other purposes - primarily to be reunified with their families, which United supports. For more information about their policies or individual cases, we would refer you to the Department of Homeland Security.
Airlines for America, the trade group representing airlines added this:
Government officials have stated that they know the location of all children in their custody and are working to reunite those children with their relatives. There are multiple reasons why minors could be traveling on domestic aircraft, including reunification of families.
So here are the facts we can Verify.
- There are still 2,047 children separated from their parents.
- The video is real.
- Migrant children were onboard that United flight.
Neither the airline nor the government has provided specific answers about whether the children onboard that specific flight were still separated from their parents or in the process of being reunited with their families.
Airlines for America