Influencer Encourages Immigrants To ‘Invade’ U.S. Homes

A social media influencer who encouraged migrants to steal from Americans is on the run from immigration authorities. Leonel Moreno, who makes TikTok videos urging illegal immigrants to exploit squatters’ rights and take possession of empty properties, posted new clips in mid-March, saying he was facing persecution and harassment and was “in danger of death.” His TikTok account has since been suspended, and immigration authorities believe he is hiding out in Columbus, Ohio.

Moreno, who had around 500,000 followers on the platform, crossed the southern US border illegally in 2022, entering through Eagle Pass, Texas, and registering in the Alternatives for Detention program. He later absconded from the program, which tracks migrants through various means, including ankle monitors, and came to the attention of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

The Venezuelan migrant attracted condemnation for his online content, including clips showing him waving $100 bills and describing how to make money in the US without working and mocking American taxpayers. In one post, he said, “I didn’t cross the Rio Grande to work like a slave. I came to the US to mark my territory.” The illegal immigrant claimed he was taking $350 per week in government handouts and making a further $1000 from his TikTok content.

Some Venezuelans in America say they are outraged by Moreno’s behavior and accuse him of casting them in a negative light. Rafael Estruve, president of Houston Young Republicans and a legal immigrant from Venezuela, said, “I have nothing but contempt for the guy and his insufferable caricature of a Venezuelan migrant.”

Many Americans, however, have made it clear that they are tired of immigrants like Moreno taking advantage of their nation. One commenter on the Venezuelan’s TikTok channel cautioned him that US citizens will end the current situation with elections in November and deport illegal migrants as soon as they can. Another wrote that individuals like Moreno are “too much trouble” and should be sent packing.