Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Biden Vowing To Open US Borders To 'Unrelenting Stream Of Immigration'

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Biden Vowing To Open US Borders To 'Unrelenting Stream Of Immigration' History Lesson

Does a video from 2015 show Joe Biden pledging to open U.S. borders to "an unrelenting stream of immigration"? No, that's not true: The quote by then-Vice President Biden from a White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism was taken out of context. In reality, he was discussing America's experience as a melting pot of diverse peoples and highlighting how he believed it serves as the "ultimate source of our strength" as a country.

The claim appeared in a post and video (archived here) on Instagram on December 5, 2023. The headline of the video says:

When you hear someone say Biden hasn't intentionally opened the boarder show them this video from 2015

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:


(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Thu Dec 14 15:49:43 2023 UTC)

The 41-second clip comes from Biden's opening comments at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (archived here) on February 17, 2015. The original video runs over 18 minutes long. Partially clipped at the beginning, the social media video says the following:

I would argue it's unlike any other large country in the world. So, there's a second thing in that black box: an unrelenting stream of immigration. Nonstop. Nonstop. Folks like me, who were Caucasian of European descent, for the first time in 2017, we'll be in an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority. Fewer than 50 percent of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock. That's not a bad thing. That's a source of our strength. And so, we have been ...

The social media clip appears at the 10:21 mark in the original video on the C-SPAN website. About two minutes earlier (8:24), Biden set the stage with a history lesson, saying the United States is a "nation of immigrants." He continues:

That's who we are. That is not hyperbole. We teach our kids: We're a melting pot. The God's truth is, we are a polyglot. We are a melting pot. It is the ultimate source of our strength. It is the ultimate source of who we are, what we've become. And it started all the way back in the late 1700s. So, there's been a constant unrelenting stream of immigration. Not in little trickles, but in large numbers.

Nowhere during his opening statement does Biden endorse an "unrelenting stream of immigration." He's merely stating his observations of American history.

The entire opening statement by Biden from the summit is embedded below:

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Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims about Joe Biden can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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