President Donald Trump shared a series of tweets on Wednesday from an unverified fan account and in doing so continued the spreading of statistic falsely attributed to undocumented immigrants in the United States.
The account, called The Trump Train, tweeted out that “illegals” can receive over $3,000 a month from a federal assistance program.
The Trump Train’s tweet seems to be originated from a Facebook meme posted in October from a different unverified account that has over 89,000 shares.
When the meme went viral, Politifact fact-checked the claim and found the truth doesn’t match the statement.
The figure of $3,874 is seemingly originated from this document of what one refugee family of five received in Canada in January of 2016. As reported by Snopes, the payment was mostly one time with a smaller monthly payment to cover the family of five’s resettlement costs. Also, the figure is in Canadian dollars, making the payment $2,748 USD at the time.
That document was originally shared as a meme in Canada and claimed that that’s the amount of money one “illegal refugee” gets from the government monthly.
Refugees, by definition, aren’t illegal. They must be approved by the government to enter and stay in the country.
The one mostly true claim form the tweet is the amount the average American receives from social security, which is closer to $1,400 monthly in 2018.
What the president shared on Tuesday was a false statistic that has been reworded and repackaged over the years to fit the narrative of whoever is sharing it. First, from anti-refugee Canadians and now from anti-immigration advocates in the United States.
Where the president shared information from was an anonymous and unverified fan account that has spread false information before, such as insinuating former President Barack Obama funded ISIS.
But Trump retweeted the user four times in a row on Wednesday, following up with another retweet from a Mike Pence fan account.
Right before his retweet binge, he tweeted personally about “disgusting fake news.”
While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2018