Jailed ‘migrant influencer’ claims he’s being unfairly persecuted

According to The New York Post, a Venezuelan migrant in jail who entered the U.S. without permission claims that he has been unfairly persecuted.

Leonel Moreno was arrested in November after he became famous for bragging that he received free money from America. He also encouraged other migrants to benefit from the laws of America protecting squatters.

In an interview in jail with the New York Post the 27-year old claimed that he had been the victim of unjust “persecution” and that he was detained because of social media videos.

Moreno said to the New York Post that he came to the United States to escape persecution. “But they are doing the same thing — persecuting” me.


He said, “It is all false information in the media about myself.” They are defaming. They misrepresent me in the media. “I am a humble person who is respectful of people who respect me. I am also a great father, husband, son and friend.

In a TikTok clip, Moreno explains squatting law and suggests how to benefit from them. Now, his account has been deleted from the platform. His Instagram and Facebook pages remain active.

James Burling, an attorney for property rights, said that as more migrants move into cities and more people become homeless, squatting will increase. It’s inevitable. They’re talking about the benefits of squatting.

In earlier videos, Moreno boasted about coming to the U.S. initially for vacation. However, he says that he lives now off the U.S. tax payers because he has a child here. He calls his daughter a “goldmine,” and that she is the breadwinner of his family.

In another video, he warns that “today it could him, tomorrow it might be you” after urging fellow Venezuelans pay the fines for a 15 year-old migrant who was accused of shooting at a tourist on Times Square in New York City earlier this summer.

Moreno was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after he failed his initial check-in at the agency in April 2022 after he had illegally entered the country and been paroled in Eagle Pass in Texas.

Moreno, when he first was processed, was placed into ICE’s Alternatives to Detention Program, where he received a cell phone as a tracking tool.

NewsNation reported that he was removed from the program because he did not follow the rules.

Moreno was ordered to appear before a Florida court on February 20, 2025. However, authorities were unable to locate him. He initially gave the address of Catholic Charities Miami. However, sources say he may now have an address in Ohio.