News

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.

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"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.

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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.

Editor's note: Thank you to our readers for pointing out that comments about a past article were erroneously appended to this article. They have been removed.

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Rumors of immigration raids reach 'boiling point'

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

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 9:14 am

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.

Editor's note: Thank you to our readers for pointing out that comments about a past article were erroneously appended to this article. They have been removed.

Comments

Observer
Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:25 am
Observer, Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:25 am
60 people like this

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?


Common sense
another community
on Feb 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm
Common sense, another community
on Feb 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm
21 people like this

Observer:

No, it is not the "biased media" that is to blame for the mass hysteria. It is the rhetoric of Trump and the executive orders. Please stop spewing the party line, which is meant to discredit factual reporting so this administration can act with impugnity.

The facts, as opposed to observation:

Web Link

The executive order instructs the head of Homeland Security to hire 10,000 more immigration enforcement agents. Read other facets carefully to understand the underlying ramifications.


Sanctimonious City
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm
Sanctimonious City, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm
45 people like this

If we want to site polls, then the majority of U.S. citizens support the following:

1. Stronger immigration enforcement
2. The EO temporary ban on immigration from the 7 listed countries
3. The deportation of violent criminal immigrants
4. Elimination of sanctuary cities/states
5. The courts and media are biased toward the left
6. Approve of Trump's immigration strategy

Web Link

Liberals like to mention popular vote when it comes to HRC's failed election campaign but not when it comes to the will of the people on immigration. It is only because of the biased media and pandering rogue government officials who have hijacked immigration policy that this is even an issue.


resident
Charleston Meadows
on Feb 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm
resident, Charleston Meadows
on Feb 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm
14 people like this

Immigration is a business. Churches work to get federal funds to support immigration efforts. That has been going on forever. The problem they run into is once they get the people here they have no jobs or resources to support them. We need to re-think why people are immigrating to begin with. In this day and age if a country is part of the UN then it cannot have gangs running around. In today's age with the internet we have knowledge of what is going on when it happens and should be able to apply pressure to countries to function as civilized groups of people. Or they get no UN support. There should be mechanisms in place to apply financial pressure to clean up the way a country is run. Trump is correct that we need to stop the drug culture which is ruining all of these countries.


Blather
another community
on Feb 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Blather, another community
on Feb 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm
6 people like this

[Post removed.]


Curmudgeon
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2017 at 4:18 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2017 at 4:18 pm
9 people like this

These immigration raids are only a Trumped up circus to entertain the hardcore Republican Base, and to distract Trump voters while Trump fails to deliver their promised jobs. Never mind the pain they cause to families and individuals.

The reality is "illegals" fulfill a strong demand for low-skill labor in The Marketplace. Employers like to hire "illegals" so they can wield the threat of deportation to pay substandard wages in harsh working conditions. "Legals" and citizens won't tolerate such treatment.

In Republican ideology The Marketplace trumps all Law. Hence all purported attempts to solve the US "immigration problem" are scripted to quietly fade away after a period of showcase raids.*

That is Trump's immigration strategy. Distract The Base while stealing ever more of its economic opportunities. Both sides love it. Governing by consent of the misgoverned, wot?

BTW, has anybody else noticed that outside-the-law workers of European origin--like the Trump Tower work crew that Mr. Trump sneaked in from Poland--are commonly referred to as "undocumented," while "illegal" is code for Mexican origin? Some Republican PC at work here.


* Only Obama has maintained a steady program of deporting undesirables in recent times.


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm
28 people like this

@ Curmudgeon - Did you read the article? There are no raids. It is just panic and hysteria.
--
"
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."
"


Curmudgeon
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm
3 people like this

"Did you read the article? There are no raids. It is just panic and hysteria."

Yup. It very specifically limits its scope to N. CA. But people have very good reason for concern. From Web Link : "U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 25 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally."


Sanctimonious City
Registered user
Barron Park
on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm
Sanctimonious City, Barron Park
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm
35 people like this

It is a myth that immigrants only take jobs citizens do not want or only low skilled positions.

Web Link

Low skilled workers face increased competition as well as high skilled workers in computer science, medical science and chemistry. A large percentage of workers in those fields are immigrants who took advantage of favorable university enrollment programs and H1B visa programs. Those are all positions that the young graduates in depressed areas like Ohio, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania could fill if the immigration policy had not been biased against them.

You can't have it both ways. With the massive structural unemployment in the USA, it is clear that immigrants have either displaced native workers or consumed additional social services.

The reality is the expanded immigration the USA has experienced over the last 30 years has been a significant factor in decreasing real wages, consuming social services and increasing taxes/deficits.


mavis123
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 19, 2017 at 6:37 am
mavis123, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2017 at 6:37 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Curmudgeon
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm
5 people like this

"It is a myth that immigrants only take jobs citizens do not want or only low skilled positions."

Yup. Just look at the injustice of it all: Our own children slave over their studies and take on massive extracurricular obligations so they can get into the best universities and earn advanced degrees so they can pick strawberries in Watsonville, only to have those lucrative employment opportunities snatched from their hands by freelance laborers from the Southlands. Oh the injustice!


super chicana
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Feb 24, 2017 at 9:54 pm
super chicana, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Feb 24, 2017 at 9:54 pm
3 people like this

Rasmussen polls are a Fox favorites bias toward the right and full of alternative facts. Sounds like you drank the Trump hate coolaid and are spouting fake news. Let's start with the math immigrants (documented and undocumented ) contribute greatly in generating new taxes: sales, income, gas or otherwise. They contribute more than they use considering undocumented people do not qualify for social security, welfare, food stamps or housing. They pay for all of this with their wages from labor. We don't take jobs we create them. Who owns the 7Eleven, Chinese restaurant, dry cleaner and the corner store in your neighborhood in the next neighborhood over. Nothing stops American born from opening up a business. They don't want to work it that hard at building something with all the headaches in debt that come with it. American born don't want to go to school learn math and science And become doctors. Immigrants don't take your job or deteriorate your middle-class way of life. [Portion removed.] Do the math the wealth has gone to the top 1%. The rich want to people on the bottom to fight it's called divide and conquer. Oldest trick in the book. People in Ohio are not broke because of immigrants. They're broke because they did not want to work hard to go to college and because Wall Street bankers took all the resources playing with your financial future. If most Americans as you claim want the Muslim ban then they are idiots who blindly follow Trump. Explain why the 7 counties he chose none of them spawned the 9/11 hijackers or the San Bernardino shooters. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan none of them on the list. He didn't put any countries on the list where he has businesses. Let's not even get started on domestic terrorists.


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