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Politics: Tiktok's Top Migrant Influencer Makes A Fool Of The

POLITICS: TikTok’s top migrant influencer makes a fool of the US

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As if we needed more proof that Tiktok is a pernicious force.

Meet Leonel Moreno, a self-proclaimed Venezuelan migrant espousing the good old-fashioned virtues of leeching off government resources — not to mention panhandling, scamming businesses and, most recently, seizing homes using squatter’s rights.

With more than 502,000 followers on TikTok, 16,000 on Instagram and his own YouTube channel, Moreno the “influencer” is a veritable guru of grifting.

He’s building a lifestyle brand that teaches fellow migrants how to get one over on the system, even though many of them are already getting one over simply by being here.

What a great country, this America, where you can become the Tony Robbins of layabouts.

In his videos, a shameless Moreno, who reportedly arrived in the US in September and now lives in Ohio, puts some real oomph into his performances. He’s screaming, ranting and baring his teeth like a snarling predator.

“We can invade a house in the USA, what do you think about this new law?” Moreno asks his followers while instructing them how to become a squatter and take ownership over a home. @leitooficial_25/TikTok
Influencer Moreno regularly poses with his baby daughter and give tips to other migrants on how to leech off the government. @leitooficial_25/TikTok

And he’s prolific in the variety of advice he offers.

In one video aimed at aspiring beggars, he recounts panhandling for money on the highway. In another, he uses his baby, an essential influencer prop — adorning her with a sign to ask for cash. Also in his repertoire: WIC scams and how to get a free phone from the government.

“I don’t like to work. Work is for slaves, kids … Don’t humiliate yourself,” Moreno says in a video.

“I confess that I don’t like to work because it gives me allergies,” he claims in another. “You work, I don’t, but in the end, neither of us have money. They keep criticizing us because I live off of taxes that you pay monthly.”

Moreno tells “John” Biden that he loves him but he will not let him close TikTok. Leonel Moreno/ TikTok

He has railed against the possibility of TikTok shuttering and, despite many love letters to Joe Biden — whom he calls “mi papa” — Moreno warns that he will mobilize Latino voters away from the candidate if his precious platform is restricted.

Predictably, he’s not a fan of Donald Trump.

Moreno seems to have a knack for seizing on headlines, like the numerous infuriating stories of squatters locking owners out of their own homes.

This Queens home was occupied by squatters and its owner, Adele Andaloro, was arrested after a standoff to toss them from the property. Meanwhile, Moreno has been telling migrants how they can take over someone else’s home. James Keivom

In his now viral video, Moreno informs fellow migrants that they can take advantage of squatter’s rights laws — telling them to “invade” American homes so they cannot be removed.

 “I found out that there is a law that says if a house is not inhabited we can seize it,” he says in Spanish.

He boasts that his “African friends” have “already taken about seven homes” and that he’s going to make that his new business.

Moreno’s target audience is the many desperate migrants who have flooded US borders. Here in New York City, a group of them line up for free food outside of Tompkins Square Park. Helayne Seidman

Pero … Moreno already told us that he does not want to work.

I’m convinced his real job is simply being a provocateur.

He certainly is skilled at getting our attention and getting under our skin. Since he last month urged his fellow countrymen to unite behind a 15-year-old Venezuelan migrant who allegedly fired at cops and blasted a Times Square tourist in the leg, his TikTok following has swelledbymore than 200,000 followers.

Somehow Moreno manages to embody every trope collectively ascribed to interlopers pouring across the border — a “bad hombre” straight out of central casting.

In one of his many videos, Moreno asks followers for help to get his car back. Leonel Moreno/ TikTok

Is he a conservative plant designed to expose the idiocy and impact of Biden’s disastrous border policies?

Or he is a charmless Ali G performing grand satire by seizing on a fraught political moment?

¿Cómo se dice “booyakasha” en español?

Venezuelan immigrant Daniel Di Martino, now a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who came to the US in 2016, believes Moreno is a wannabe: a world-class opportunistic “clown” making his mark by antagonizing.

“People will comment, share and quote when they are angry,” Di Martino told me. “He finds whatever will outrage people. He has created the perfect character to be hated. He steals, he teaches people how to become dependent on the government.”

Leonel Moreno calls Biden his “papi.” AP

Whether Moreno is a Latino Robin Hood, a skilled comedian or an agent of chaos, Di Martino said, “It’s bad because he’s promoting terrible things.”

Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that the joke is on all of us and our lax policies. The rest of the world is laughing.



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