A Catholic charity at the center of a recent video from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has strongly condemned the accusations they are involved in “smuggling children” at the U.S-Mexico.
The Infowars host uploaded a video in which he confronts a driver outside Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the city of McAllen, Texas, while repeatedly accusing him of trafficking the migrant children he is transporting.
At one point, Jones steps in front of the car to stop it from driving away after noticing the children do not have seatbelts in the back of the vehicle.
“You are violating Texas law,” Jones yells. “We know you’re smuggling these kids. You’ve got them in the back of [the car] without children’s seats.”
Jones and other members of the Infowars team, and conservative commentator Drew Hernandez, continue to accuse the driver of smuggling children without evidence to justify the claims.
The clip ends with a police officer arriving at the scene and the children, accompanied by at least one adult female, exiting the car.
Fact-checking website Snopes ruled Jones’ claims that he was saving children from being smuggled at the border as false, noting the conspiracy theorist was “screaming and pointing at a vehicle carrying children, but doing little else.”
Elsewhere in the video, one of the Infowars team accuses the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley of providing migrant families with clothing and debit cards containing $1,200 before releasing them “into the United States into a destination or city of their choice.”
In a statement to Newsweek, Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, condemned the video as a “contrived misrepresentation” of the organization’s work.
She accused Jones of a “staged confrontation interrupting the goodwill of someone” taking the children to the Humanitarian Respite Center.
“Ideally, the children should have been wearing seat belts; unfortunately, this was not the case in this instance,” Pimentel said.
“The Humanitarian Respite Center and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley are not involved in any human smuggling or trafficking networks.”
Pimentel added that the organization has worked with the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden to ensure the humanitarian treatment of asylum seekers, which includes giving them clean clothes, food and a “moment of rest” at the Human Respite Center.
“I want to express my deep concern and disappointment regarding this attempt to sensationalize the work of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and so many in the city of McAllen who have consistently worked together to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable,” Pimentel added.
It is not clear what happened to the children after they exited the vehicle. The McAllen Police Department has been contacted for comment.
Many social media users questioned the veracity of the smuggling claims from Jones, one of the most famous conspiracy theorists in the world.
Jones’ previous controversies include suggesting the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax and selling products on his website which falsely claim to treat or cure the coronavirus.
Jones’ lawyer argued in 2017 that he is “playing a character” and that his claims and outbursts during his Infowars show should not be taken seriously.
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