A hoax is making the rounds on Facebook that Mexico’s leading presidential candidate is calling for a massive surge of immigration to the United States. That’s not true.
"Mexico’s next president calls for an invasion of the U.S.," said a headline by WeSupportDonaldTrump.com. The website, which lacks original reporting, has a hodgepodge of articles about politics with a pro-President Donald Trump slant.
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"Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as ‘AMLO,’ has been openly telling his people to flood the U.S. border. What AMLO is asking his people is not a surprise… Apparently, he has been planning this for years but nobody really cared to pay attention," the story reads.
The story used a quote of López Obrador for which they cited the Daily Caller to back up their point:
" ‘And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,’ López Obrador said, adding that immigrants ‘must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.’ He then declared it as ‘a human right we will defend.’ "
We found the original quote in the Mexican newspaper, El Universal. It has been taken out of context.
"Y ya pronto, muy pronto, al triunfo de nuestro movimiento vamos a defender a los migrantes de todo el continente Americano y todos los migrantes del mundo que, por necesidad, tienen que abandonar sus pueblos para buscar la vida en Estados Unidos, es un derecho humano que vamos a defender," El Universal quotes López Obrador saying in a speech on June 19.
That translates to: "Soon, very soon, after the victory of our movement, we will defend migrants all over the American continent and the migrants of the world who, by necessity, must abandon their towns to find life in the United States; it’s a human right we will defend."
López Obrador is not telling anyone to flood the border, but saying that he will defend those who find themselves with no other option but to relocate to the United States. The quote was delivered in the wake of news of the Trump administration’s rampant separation of families at the border. Over 2,300 children were separated from their parents between May 5 and June 9, according to the Homeland Security Department.
We found no indications that López Obrador was encouraging people to abandon their towns in favor of the United States. Instead, he urged current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to complete the following three actions:
Send a diplomatic note in protest of the Trump’s administration’s policies to the United States;
Solicit the urgent intervention of the United Nations commissioner for human rights; and,
Send a team of lawyers, psychologists and social workers to aid kids and their parents at the border.
Bloggers have distorted López Obrador's quote to stoke fears. We rate the claim Pants on Fire.