TikToker goes viral explaining how illegal immigrants can take advantage of squatting laws

A Venezuelan migrant has gone viral after he posted a video to social media that explained how illegal immigrants can take advantage of squatting laws and stay in American homes.

“I have thought about invading a house in the United States,” a man identified as Leonal Moreno said in the TikTok video. “I found out that there is a law that says that if a house is not inhabited, we can seize it.”

The man told his followers in Spanish that he anticipated his next business would be “invading” abandoned houses. He claimed that some of his African friends have told him they have already taken seven homes in the U.S.

Moreno also said that for migrants to avoid living on the street and not be a “public burden,” the law says deteriorated homes can be acquired by others, repaired and lived in. The man also claimed the new inhabitants can then sell the house.


Venezuelan TikToker Leonal Moreno urged illegal immigrants to take over abandoned homes and invoke squatters’ rights.  (TikTok/Screenshot/Leonal Moreno)

Squatters and tenants’ rights laws vary across the country, with some states providing protection for non-paying individuals, allowing them to occupy a property for extended periods. In areas where complex laws bar police from taking action, homeowners have few options to reclaim their property beyond pursuing a civil case, which can take months.

A property owner in New York City was recently arrested after a standoff with a group of squatters who allegedly took over the woman’s property following her parents’ deaths.

Police told the homeowner that the squatter could not be kicked out and they would have to go to court. They arrested Adele Andaloro for unlawful eviction over her changing the locks on the home.

The squatting case follows other high-profile squatting incidents across the country, including a separate case in Queens where a couple and their child, who has Down syndrome, say they have been unable to move into their $2 million home due to a squatter.


Venezuelan migrant Leonel Moreno speaks about the charges against Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, a 15-year-old migrant who allegedly shot a tourist in Times Square. (TikTok @leitooficial_25)

Nearly 7.3 million migrants have crossed into the U.S. illegally since the start of 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Since 2022, Texas has sent over 100,000 migrants to major cities in other states, with most ending up in New York City and Chicago. The Big Apple spent $1.45 billion in fiscal 2023 on migrant costs and expects to spend a combined $9.1 billion housing migrants in 2024 and 2025, according to Bloomberg.

The TikToker, Moreno, previously garnered attention online when he urged his 500,000 followers to “unite” and pay the fines of a 15-year-old migrant who allegedly shot a tourist in Times Square.

“I invite you to find [his] mother and [for] all of us to unite to pay the fines [so] that the young Venezuelan feels that he’s not alone during difficult moments. Remember that up there there’s a God who sees everything [down here],” the Venezuelan TikToker said in the video that achieved over 2.5 million views.

He continued, “An entire nation [is] on top of him instead of helping him — remember that the young man is going to be released. And he will be released, do you know why? Because he’s underage.”

“You don’t know when God is going to put you in a situation like the one this young man is in,” Moreno continued in the clip, referencing the attempted murder charges against teenager Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, who is being tried as an adult.

Fox News’ Emma Colton and Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi contributed to this report.

Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.

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