Rumors of immigration raids reach 'boiling point'

Local immigration enforcement officials deny that mass "sweeps" are taking place

While leading the charge against the new administration's immigration policies, the Bay Area's immigrant advocates are finding themselves in a difficult position as they attempt to dispel a growing sense of panic among undocumented residents that mass deportations are imminent.

This week, sources say those fears went into overdrive as rumors began quickly spreading across the Bay Area of federal agents conducting immigration raids. The reports, spread mainly on social media, warned of checkpoints and random roundups by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Richmond, Oakland, Contra Costa County and San Carlos, as well as the Midpeninsula.

But those reports of sweeping roundups were false, said Ilyce Shugall, an attorney with the Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto. While much uncertainly hangs over undocumented residents, there have been no verified reports of ICE engaging in mass roundups so far, she said.

"There's so much panic in the community right now, and then these rumors start spreading because people are freaked out," she said. "It's a real challenge to be informative because we're in unprecedented territory this is a situation where we don't know what's going to happen."

Contacted by the Voice, ICE officials insisted they do not conduct mass immigrant roundups in Northern California. Any recent operations have targeted specific individuals who have been convicted of crimes such as drug trafficking, sex offenses or violent acts, said James Schwab, ICE spokesman for the Bay Area.

"We do not conduct indiscriminate raids or sweeps for undocumented residents," he said. "I get it -- ICE operations are not popular -- but putting out false information about raids is putting people in danger."

Schwab said his phone has been ringing nonstop with calls about new rumors. For some reason, the rumor mill reached a "boiling point" on Wednesday, with numerous stories of raids spreading around the same time, he said.

Most link the hysteria to President Donald Trump, who campaigned on the promise of deporting illegal immigrants. Since taking office, he said he would move to immediately remove up to 3 million immigrants who have criminal records.

ICE officials say there has been no increase in arrests or operations in Northern California since the new administration took office. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced more than 680 immigrants had been detained across the country in operations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City.

For now, at least, the number of deportations could be actually be smaller than it was under the Obama administration. During fiscal year 2016, an average of about 1,250 individuals were removed from the country each week, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

But immigrant advocates are bracing for the possibility that ICE enforcement will ramp up. The situation has been changing practically on a daily basis, Shugall said.

"We're trying to find that right balance between finding good quality information and trying to limit the panic," she said.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has set up a website for people to report confirmed raids and enforcement actions.

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104 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Blame it on the biased media for creating all the hysteria around Trumps travel ban. Deportations under Obama were among the highest in decades and not a word from the media. But then again when the city and school district goes out of its way to announce sanctuaries, they might as well just paint a target on everyone's back. What ever happened to hiding in plain sight anyway?

15 people like this
Posted by Love
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 16, 2017 at 7:23 pm

From Matthew:

Then the King will tell those on his right hand, "Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me."

“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'

“The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.'

“Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?'

“Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

7 people like this
Posted by Alina Garofalo
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2017 at 8:43 am

This is just terrible..... people need to have something good to look forward.... I do believe it these raids our random, they do them every year at the beginning of the year and just like last year as I remember. That evil man who is an office may not even be there for 4 years something in my heart tells me he's not going to last that long but let's just say that he does he won't be there forever to torture in to scare the people with his racist tots and scaring innocent people of all kinds of life.... I know it looks bad now but we have to look towards further! All the people need to do you unite together we all bleed the same we are hurt the same.

Let show this country the new era and the new revolution that is to come, not by hurting people but by the power of love.
John 4:20
IF anyone says,"I love God"
Yet hates he's brother,
Is a liar
For anyone who does not love his brother,whom he has not seen, cannot love God,whom he has not seen.
John 4:20

5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2017 at 9:52 am

Will Trump deploy the National Guard to round up immigrants in California? Associated Press says they have a copy of a draft Department of Homeland Security memo. Sean Spicer says that is fake news. Who is telling the truth? Associated Press news report: Web Link

11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2017 at 11:19 am

I have to believe that most of these rumors are started by the Trump administration itself to satisfy the ALT RIGHT base, but then Trump will blame state governors for not obeying the Federal orders. People's lives are just a game to him.

18 people like this
Posted by Li'l Putin's Li'l Game
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

Leak fake news, wait for it to be reported, then scream "Fake news! Whaaa,so unfair."

Meanwhile, Russia.

6 people like this
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Let's be candid ... in the White House we have what can be accurately called a "MIND F--Ker" who enjoys playing adolescent games with the media. He will do what he wants, deny it, and tell the world that it's the media who are lying when they report what is really happening.
He cannot be trusted ever, about anything esp. about immigration issues, or about women.

BTW has anyone else noticed that the (t)Rump gives all the signals of being an habitual practitioner of domestic violence. When with Melania in public, he smiles and smiles his serpent grin and she is rigid next to him. Terror swims in the air.

14 people like this
Posted by Timetrip
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2017 at 3:06 pm

None of the comments so far make a lot of sense.

22 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2017 at 4:04 pm

@Love -you have to very careful with biblical quotes and fitting them to a particular context.

That aside there are plenty of American citizens in desperate need whom we can all help, rather than creating a terrible moral hazard that invites illegal aliens to come into this country and consume resources that belong to the US tax payer and citizens.

So personally I have no problem at all with federal law enforcement enforcing the law and deporting people who are in this country illegally. If this means conducting raids so be it.

102 people like this
Posted by tiredofstupid
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm

What's the fuss? People in shock because the law is being enforced? Immigration laws have been in existence for a long while, way before Trump.
Illegal immigrants (emphasis on the word "illegal"...) should know and accept the risk they are taking. You get caught, well... Why are people whining about that?
Lots of people, mostly inconsistent, mix application of the law with racism and what not... Whether you like it or not, this is a nation based on laws. I don't seem to see much outrage or protest when someone steals something and gets before a judge and gets sentenced. Or did I miss something, and you guys have planned some protests for that?

29 people like this
Posted by tiredofstupid
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Totally agree w/ Steve's comment above.
Quoting bible verses to support your incorrect position is not right.
And since you seem to read the Bible and obey God's commands, then I urge you to read Romans 13:1_7 and come back tell us what you make of it...

5 people like this
Posted by Love
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Love is a registered user.


Our Lord commands us to love one another: to throw out our neighbors is to throw Him out. He commands us to love even our enemies, so it matters not how much you dislike them.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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