Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have been circulating a fake picture on Twitter of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent arresting an undocumented immigrant who tried to vote.
According to ProPublica/Univision, the image is actually digitally modified from a 2014 image on Wikimedia Commons and an Associated Press picture from March of people standing in line to vote in the presidential primaries in Gilbert, Arizona.
Twitter user Neil Turner posted the fake picture Oct. 27 and wrote: "I've just got word that an illegal trying to vote has been arrested. ICE is watching voting places closely! Thank you ICE! More to come!"
New York Magazine reported in June that Neil Turner is one of several web bots (automated content and human contributions) that quickly tweets in reaction to Trump's Twitter feed. Ironically, Trump often retweets Neil Turner, seemingly unaware that he is retweeting a bot.
Nathan T. Bernard, a self-taught computer whiz in Brooklyn, told The Ringer earlier this month how bots like Neil Turner get a huge following by being one of the first to retweet Trump. Bernard said that he created his own bot, which eventually smoked out the person behind Neil Turner, a college student majoring in computer science in the South.
Given there is a bot behind the fake picture, people may still be wondering: Can ICE agents arrest immigrants at polling places?
Tammy Patrick, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told ProPublica/Univision: "I have never, ever, ever heard of this happening. Ever."
Patrick said the fake picture was "stomach churning," and added: "It sounds like a step up from decades ago when ads were put out saying that if you hadn’t paid child support you will be arrested when you go to vote."
Pili Tobar, of the Latino Victory Project, said: "When you have images showing someone getting arrested by ICE at polling locations, that could show a lot of mixed-status families that they could be followed by ICE or targeted by ICE, and that they might be putting their family members at risk."
Twitter user "LockHerUp" tweeted the fake image to Univision with the caption: "@UniPolitica @electionland Immigration Police arresting people at Voting Booths! ¡Policia de inmigracion en las cabinas de votacion!"
"Lock her up" is a popular chant against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Trump rallies.