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By Kyra Haas September 18, 2018

Pelosi didn’t say ‘building a wall will violate the rights of millions of illegals’

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.

This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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.

Our ruling

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.

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PolitiFact rating logo PolitiFact Rating:
Pants on Fire
Says Nancy Pelosi said, "Building a wall will violate the rights of millions of illegals."
in a Facebook post
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our Sources

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

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Kyra Haas

Pelosi didn’t say ‘building a wall will violate the rights of millions of illegals’

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