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A false political meme from 2017 is making the rounds again as the 2018 midterm elections loom.
The viral image says that House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "Building a wall will violate the rights of millions of illegals." The inaccurate quote has overlaid several different images of Pelosi.
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The meme first started circulating more than a year ago after Pelosi responded to President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the government if funding wasn’t secured for the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
"The obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall," Trump said at a rally in August 2017.
Pelosi issued a statement the next day.
"President Trump’s multi-billion dollar border wall boondoggle is strongly opposed by Democrats and many Republicans," Pelosi’s statement read. "Democrats will stand fast against the immoral, ineffective border wall and the rest of Republicans’ unacceptable poison pill riders."
After Pelosi’s statement, a meme began circulating with an image of Pelosi and text that said "Building a wall will violate the rights of millions of illegals. It’s not just our country, it’s their country, too!"
The text of that meme was copied to other memes that attributed it as a direct quote from Pelosi.
We have not found any credible news sources that quote Pelosi in this way, and none of the memes give an idea of where or when she would have made this statement.
The meme has popped up a few other times on social media. In January 2018, for example, the government was facing a shutdown, partially because of disputed funding for the border wall. Pelosi posted a thread on Twitter, speaking again in opposition of the wall. The meme started circulating again.
There’s no credible source that Pelosi said building the border wall would "violate the rights of millions of illegals." The meme started as a rough paraphrase and transitioned to an incorrect direct quote. We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
John K Stahl, tweet, Jan. 23, 2018
Viral image, meme, May 30, 2018
Viral image, meme
Press release, Nancy Pelosi, "Pelosi statement on President Trump’s threat to shut down government over immoral, ineffective border wall," Aug. 23, 2018
Nancy Pelosi, tweet, Jan. 5, 2018
The Washington Post, "Trump pulls back threat to shut down government over border wall — for now," Sept. 1, 2017
PolitiFact, "Trump ties wall funding to government shutdown," Aug. 25, 2017
The Atlantic, "The Real Reasons Why the Government Shut Down," Jan. 20, 2018
Snopes, "Did Nancy Pelosi Say Building a Wall Will Violate the Rights of ‘Millions of Illegals’?," Jan. 23, 2018
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