Fact check: Statement on migrants at the southern border falsely attributed to Ted Cruz

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McKenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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The claim: Ted Cruz said 'the Alien Invasion is orchestrated'

A viral screenshot claims to show a purported quote from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, about the condition of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border.

The April 2 Facebook post says Cruz questioned why "illegals arrive at the Border clean and refreshed after traveling 1,500 miles on foot."

"Why don't they ever carry food or blankets? How do they charge their cell phones?" the post continues. "Almost makes one think the Alien Invasion is orchestrated."

Above the text is an image of Cruz. The post has over 25,000 shares and over 900 reactions.

Similar versions of the claim with hundreds of shares have been shared by users across Facebook. USA TODAY reached out to the users for comment.

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Quote is fabricated

Steve Guest, a spokesperson for Cruz, confirmed to USA TODAY via email that Cruz never made that statement and that it is a "categorically false quote that is being wrongly attributed to him on social media."

The quote does not appear on Cruz's personal Twitter account, @tedcruz, or his official Twitter page, @SenTedCruz.

There is also no record of the statement on ProPublica's Politwoops database, which tracks deleted tweets by elected officials.

On Facebook, users shared an image with the same text coming from the Twitter account @jonmichaelolse1, revealing where the quote first originated.

The Twitter user shared the tweet on March 27 and someone likely took a screenshot of the quote, cropping out the Twitter username and adding the false attribution to Cruz.

The image of Cruz included in the posts was taken by pool photographer Jonathan Newton on June 24, 2020, during an oversight hearing held by the Senate Committee for Commerce, Science and Transportation.

USA TODAY has previously debunked a fabricated tweet on climate change claiming to come from Cruz.

Fact check: Sen. Ted Cruz's 2018 senatorial campaign mailers complied with FEC standards

Our rating: False

The claim that Ted Cruz said the "Alien Invasion is orchestrated" is FALSE, based on our research. The statement does not appear on his social media pages or on archived versions of them.. A spokesperson for Cruz's office confirmed that the claim is false.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Statement on migrants falsely attributed to Ted Cruz