Edited clip distorts old Biden campaign speech

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Social media users are sharing a clip that appears to depict US President Joe Biden calling Mexicans "rapists." But the video has been misleadingly edited; the full footage shows Biden was referring to comments from former president Donald Trump.

"Joe Biden & rapist Mexicans," says the caption of a YouTube short published August 12, 2022.

The clip recirculated on Facebook in the lead-up to the May 11, 2023 expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era program that Trump introduced to swiftly expel people trying to enter the United States.

"I'm going to take on those rapist Mexicans," Biden appears to say in the video.

Screenshot of a YouTube short taken May 11, 2023

Biden has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle for his handling of migration along the US-Mexico border. House Republicans passed a bill May 11 that would reintroduce Trump-era measures such as border wall construction and asylum restrictions, but the measure will likely die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The clip shared online has been deceptively edited -- the full footage shows Biden was paraphrasing comments from his predecessor.

The video shows a speech (archived here) Biden gave in San Antonio, Texas in December 2019 while campaigning for the 2020 US election. Here are the president's remarks, in context:

"This election is about the soul of our nation, and Donald Trump has poisoned our soul. He fans the flames of hate: hate groups, white supremacists here at home.
"Coming down the escalator when he announced in Trump Towers, he said -- he was doing it before he hit the ground floor. Remember what he said? He said: 'I am going to take on those rapist Mexicans.'"

In his June 2015 campaign announcement (archived here), Trump said: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you, they're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems -- and they're bringing those problems with us.

"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people."

Trump was later asked in a CNN interview if he regretted associating Mexicans with the word "rapists."

"No, not at all," the then-Republican presidential candidate said, adding that he had a "great relationship" with Mexico.

The US-Mexico border has been a topic of considerable misinformation. AFP has fact-checked other claims about the end of Title 42 here, here and here.