New York – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s first television ad will have you looking twice.
His anti-immigrant campaign publicity shows footage of dozens of migrants crossing over a borderline suggesting that what you are seeing is the US-Mexico border.
“He’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for,” a voiceover is heard halfway through.
However, the footage has nothing to do with immigrants entering the United States. The images are from the borderline between northern Morocco and Melilla, a Spanish enclave in the North African country’s mainland. Melilla, in addition to Ceuta, are two Spanish enclaves that are the cause of a territorial dispute between Morocco and Spain. Morocco does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over these two tiny territories.
The video was investigated by PolitiFact, which traced it back to RepubblicaTV, an Italian television network, which broadcast the images on May 3, 2014.
A YouTube video published by RepubblicaTV and “time-stamped” May 1, 2014, shows the same footage that Trump’s campaign wants Americans to believe is from Mexican immigrants crossing into U.S. territory.
The original video was released by the Interior Ministry in Madrid, showing an “onslaught of hundreds of migrants on the wall that separates the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco. About 800 tried to cross the border on May 1st. Those who failed to escape the control of the Civil Guard were hanging on the barriers for six hours before being rejected,” the video description reads.
Interestingly, the same video resurfaced on a July 2015 YouTube post titled, “1,000s of immigrants try to cross the border at once,” yet no location was mentioned.
It seems that people in charge of Donald Trump’s media campaign did not double-check their facts. In their quest to lure Americans to believe that more Mexicans are trying to cross into U.S. territory, all means are valid even if it means outright lying to the American people and insulting their intelligence.