Politics

Why Everyone Is Talking About This Fake Photo of Michelle Obama

November 17th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

A fake photo of Michelle Obama is going viral, and it's sparked a discussion about America's views on immigrants.

The anti-Obama Facebook page, "That's a Crock Barack Fan Page" posted a photo of the first lady holding a sign about immigration and thousands of people have shared it. The real photo featured Obama holding a sign with the words "#BringBackOurGirls" on it to raise awareness about Boko Haram. The terror group kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls in 2014, held them hostage and sparked global outrage -- spawning the creation of the hashtag.

Michelle Obama's "#BringBackOurGirls" sign.

The fake viral photo showed FLOTUS holding a digitally altered sign that reads "An immigrant is taking my job."

This is the fake viral photo of Michelle Obama.

Regardless of the ethics of creating a fake photo, the sign sparked an interesting debate about the immigration rhetoric from this election. As of Thursday, there are more than 3,000 Facebook comments on the photo.

Comments on a fake photo of Michelle Obama.

Immigration was a central focus of Trump's campaign. As ATTN: reported on Sunday, Trump's immigration plan for his administration will aim to build a giant wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and start mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

Trump also said on the campaign trail that he would temporarily ban immigrants from Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and place them under heavy surveillance. In a December 2015 statement, Trump said that the U.S. "cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe in only Jihad."

The president-elect also said in November 2015 that he would consider registering Muslim citizens and immigrants in a database.

The discussion about a "Muslim registry" being resurfaced this week due to the phony FLOTUS photo.

The fake photo of the first lady, which some people probably believed was real, and other people have used as a meme -- touches on two main points in regards to the immigration debate:

1. A reoccurring argument that immigrants take jobs from native-born Americans.

Comment about fake Michelle Obama photo.

Comment on fake photo of Michelle Obama.

Comments about fake Michelle Obama photo.

A study by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a 550-page report in September about immigrants and jobs.

One of the report's authors, Francine D. Blau from Cornell University told The New York Times that their research “found little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term.”

Blau went on to tell The New York Times that in the long-term, immigrants contribute more money to the U.S. economy than they take away:

"For those governments, total annual costs for first-generation immigrants are about $57 billion. But by the second generation in those families, immigrants, with improved education and taxpaying ability, become a benefit to government coffers, adding about $30 billion a year. By the third generation, immigrant families contribute about $223 billion a year to government finances."

Also, mass deportations of unauthorized immigrants could have a negative effect on the U.S. economy.

If Donald Trump's immigration plan came true, the results would be scary. See the biggest immigration myths here: http://attn.link/1Szxfpj Like ATTN: on Facebook.

Posted by ATTN: on Monday, February 1, 2016

Daniel Costa from the Economic Policy Institute told ATTN: in an article published Sunday that it's hard to estimate the costs of Trump's planned deportations, but it would likely have a negative impact on U.S. industries.

"Unauthorized immigrant workers make up about 5 percent of the labor force, and most have been here for at least 10 years," he told ATTN. "Unauthorized workers are also disproportionately employed in certain industries, like agriculture, hospitality, and construction. So removing them would have a significant impact on the U.S. economy and especially those industries."

2. Incoming first lady Melania Trump is an immigrant who worked illegally in the U.S.

Comment about fake Michelle Obama photo.

Comments about a fake photo of Michelle Obama.

The week before the presidential election, an Associated Press investigation found that Melania Trump, who is originally from Slovenia, illegally worked in the U.S. 20 years ago. She was paid more than $20,000 for 10 modeling jobs before she had permission to work in the U.S., according to the investigation. On Nov. 4, the AP wrote that Melania Trump denied working illegally throughout her husband's campaign:

"Mrs. Trump, who received a green card in March 2001 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006, has always maintained that she arrived in the country legally and never violated the terms of her immigration status. During the presidential campaign, she has cited her story to defend her husband's hard line on immigration."

Trump was paid for the modeling jobs at a time time when she had permission to be in the country, but weeks before she received permission to work, according to the AP.

Although this photo of Obama is fake, FLOTUS has publicly discussed her feelings on immigrants coming to the U.S. In a commencement speech in July at the City College in New York, Obama slammed anti-immigrant rhetoric and referenced now President-elect Trump's plan to build a giant wall on the border.

She said in the speech, "Here in America, we don’t give in to our fears, we don’t build up walls to keep people out, because we know that our greatness has always depending on contributions from people who were born elsewhere but sought out this country and made it their home."

RELATED: Here's What We Know About Donald Trump's Immigration Plan