Venezuelan Immigrant Who Encouraged Squatting Nabbed By Immigration Officials

A Venezuelan immigrant in the United States illegally, who gained notoriety for a social media post where he urged fellow immigrants to seize control of American houses by squatting, has been apprehended by federal immigration officials.

The New York Post reports that Leonel Moreno, the “migrant influencer” who used social media to encourage others to invade the U.S. and squat at the homes of citizens, was apprehended in Gahanna, Ohio which had been featured recently in some of his videos.

Moreno originally crossed the southern border illegally in April 2022 at Eagle Pass, Texas, and was enrolled in the Alternatives to Detention program, which allows federal authorities to track migrants using ankle monitors or other technology. However, the Post reports that Moreno did not follow the rules and had been listed as an “absconder” from the program, according to internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement documents.

Moreno has become a TikTok influencer with over 500,000 followers, encouraging “fellow Venezuelans” to squat in the homes of U.S. citizens and calling President Biden “mi papa.”

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Moreno’s videos were posted in Spanish and suggested people could enter abandoned homes and invoke “squatters rights.” Legal and real estate sources told The Dispatch that adverse possession laws in Ohio rarely grant would-be squatters the right to remain in homes in which they have taken up residence illegally and that such trespassers could be subject to arrest.

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance took issue with the videos, posting on X, formerly Twitter, “Here’s an illegal alien advising his buddies on how to use the law to steal your home. Just third world country stuff, brought to you by the Biden administration.”

Moreno’s profile on the TikTok platform was deleted on Wednesday, although the Post noted he continued to post on Instagram, with a video of him flaunting $100 bills from a huge wad.

Fox News reported on Thursday that in prior videos, Moreno claimed that his family received $350 a week in government handouts since entering the U.S. illegally and has been raking in up to $1,000 a week on the video platform.

In one of the new clips, he shrugged off the loss of his TikTok account, saying he still has Facebook and Instagram and that he expects to continue using them to make money online and from government handouts, Fox reported.

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