ICE squashes social media rumors, says round-ups and checkpoints are not happening
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Dozens of people in the Portland metro area have posted on social media recently, claiming they saw US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arresting people during "round-ups and checkpoints."
Rumors of these checkpoints or mass-arrests spread nationwide Wednesday, and include reports of ICE officers in North Portland.
Several viewers contacted KATU News concerned about these alleged raids, and we have contacted local and national authorities.
ICE officials posted on Twitter Wednesday evening that "reports of ICE checkpoints and sweeps or roundups are false, dangerous and irresponsible. These reports create mass panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Any groups falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support."
In an email to KATU, an ICE spokesman denied any expanded actions in Portland on Wednesday.
Amid the heightened tensions, a concerning trend has emerged as regular citizens are apparently posing as ICE agents to intimidate, scare or even rob immigrants. On Wednesday, there was a report of individuals dressed in black aboard MAX trains asking people for documents, and the state of New York had to issue an urgent fraud alert over similar cases.
A 23-year-old Seattle-area man was taken into custody earlier this week by ICE agents, even though he has a work permit under Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson said in a statement that Ramirez told agents he was a gang member and based on those statements and being a "risk to public safety," he was taken into custody.