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Maria Briceño
By Maria Briceño April 19, 2024

If Your Time is short

  • Resource Center Matamoros founder Gaby Zavala told The Associated Press she doesn’t know who made the flyers and that her group doesn’t support noncitizen voting in the U.S.

  • The Spanish-language flyer contained misspellings and excerpts translated directly from the organization’s English website. 

False claims that Democrats want noncitizens to vote have been amplified by former President Donald Trump, Elon Musk and Republican influencers. Now a social media post is claiming to have evidence of a scheme to encourage noncitizen migrants to vote for President Joe Biden. 

The Oversight Project run by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, posted on X what it said was a Spanish-language flyer distributed by the Resource Center Matamoros in Mexico. The Mexican organization provides legal and social support services to migrants trying to get to the United States.

"Flyers distributed at NGO in Mexico encouraging illegals to vote for President Biden," said the caption of Oversight Project’s April 15 post, which has more than 9 million views. (NGO stands for nongovernmental organization.)

The flyer said in Spanish: "Reminder to vote for president Biden when you are in the United States. We need another four years of his mandate to stay open." 

The flyer shows the Resource Center Matamoros’ logo, address, website and phone number. It also shows a Biden campaign logo with the phrase in Spanish: "Todos con Biden," (All with Biden.)

But a Biden campaign spokesperson called the flyer "disinformation" and the center’s leader told news outlets her group didn’t make it. Here’s what we know.

The Oversight Project said on X that the flyer was posted throughout the Resource Center Matamoros’ facilities, including the wall of a portable bathroom and that "they also appear to be handed out when illegal aliens" seek the center’s assistance.

The Oversight Project shared a video that it said comes from an X account, @realmuckraker that posts about the border and immigration. The video shows tents and portable bathrooms; the person filming the video enters multiple bathrooms and finds the flyer hanging on a wall. 

The flyer raised concerns with conservatives. On X, Florida state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill,  shared the Oversight Project’s post, and said he would file a bill in the next legislative session that would make it a felony to distribute literature such as the flyer and would fine any Florida organization that distributed such literature.

U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., also showed a poster with the flyer at an April 16 House hearing questioning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The Oversight Project has linked Mayorkas to the center.  

Oversight Project Executive Director Mike Howell told PolitiFact his organization made no claims about who made or distributed the flyer, but was shocked "that such a flyer was at a non-profit that is staging illegal aliens to enter the United States."

"The Oversight Project is currently investigating a myriad of threads to the integrity of our election system and remains concerned about the foreign influence that illegals can have in our voting system," Howell said.

The Oversight Project on X also posted a nine-second audio clip of a conversation between a man and a woman, which the center said is Resource Center Matamoros founder Gaby Zavala. "In all honesty, we’re just trying to help as many people as possible before, you know, before Trump gets re-elected," the man said. "Believe me, we are in the same boat," the woman said. It’s unclear from the clip whether the woman’s voice is Zavala’s or the conversation is in full context.

The flyer mentions that the center is the home of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. The center has rented space to the society, for which Mayorkas served on the board before becoming DHS secretary. But the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society told The Associated Press that it neither made the flyers nor supported the flyer’s message. The society also said it hasn’t rented space or had ties with the Mexican center since 2022.

Biden’s campaign told PolitiFact it had nothing to do with that flyer.

"This is disinformation, and should be labeled that way on platforms Americans trust to provide truthful information — from the social platform where it originated to the media organizations reporting on it," Ammar Moussa, a Biden campaign spokesperson, told PolitiFact via email.

Zavala told The Associated Press she doesn’t know who made the flyer and that her group "does not encourage immigrants to register to vote or cast ballots in the U.S."

We called and emailed Zavala and her organization, but received no response.

Fox News National Correspondent Bill Melugin posted on X that the flyer "seems fake or doctored, even at first glance," and noted several dubious elements, including that the Spanish word for welcome is misspelled and that some of the text is a translation of the organization’s website.

PolitiFact also examined the flyer closely. Here are some notable details:

  • Flyer says "Bienvedinos," a misspelling of "bienvenidos" — the Spanish word for welcome.

  • The first two sentences in the flyer appear to be an exact Spanish translation of the organizations Who We Are page. We pasted the English sentences on Google Translate and it gave us the exact Spanish phrasing seen in the flyer. 

(Screenshot of flyer from Oversight Project’s X post.)

The center’s Our Mission, Who We Are and Our Services website pages do not say it supports Biden, nor do they tell asylum seekers to support him. The Who We Are page says that the center has worked "closely with representatives from the US and Mexican governments … for more humane treatment of asylum seekers."

PolitiFact has debunked similar misinformation about noncitizens voting. Some false claims say that voter registration by noncitizens is rampant and that the Biden administration wants to end voter ID laws so that noncitizens can register and vote. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote in federal elections for Congress and president. Some cities, including in California, Maryland and Vermont, allow noncitizens to vote in local elections, such as for mayor or city council. 

Election officials told PolitiFact that fears of noncitizen voting ignore states’ safeguards to prevent it from happening.

"It’s important for people to know that voter registration is secure, and eligibility is verified through several mechanisms," said Amanda López Askin, the local elections official in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. "Disinformation is dangerous to migrants, election officials, and is overall unhealthy for our democracy."

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Our Sources

X post, April 16, 2024

X post, April 16, 2024

X post, April 15, 2024

X post, April 15, 2024

Resource Center Matamoros, About, accessed April 17, 2024

The Associated Press, A flyer at a camp in Mexico urges US-bound migrants to vote for Biden. Its origins are suspect, April 17, 2024

YouTube, WATCH LIVE: Mayorkas testifies as House GOP expected to deliver impeachment articles against him, April 16, 2024

PolitiFact, Republicans push for noncitizen voting ban in Congress. But a federal ban already exists., April 12, 2024

X, @realmuckraker, accessed April 17, 2024

PolitiFact, More than 2 million noncitizens have not registered to vote in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Texas, April 5, 2024

PolitiFact, The Biden administration is not scheming to register noncitizens to vote, March 7, 2024

Google Translate, April 17, 2024

Email interview with Mike Howell, executive director of the Oversight Project, April 18, 2024

Email interview with Ammar Moussa, Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson, April 18, 2024


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