DENVER – Fear, panic, anger and disbelief spread like a viral disease across social media on Wednesday, as dozens of Coloradans shared posts claiming immigration officials were conducting checkpoints in the metro area and beyond.
But the rumors offered no substantial evidence to back up the claims, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were forced to make a statement, saying Wednesday evening all reports of immigration checkpoints were "false, dangerous and irresponsible."
“These reports create mass panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger,” said Shawn Neudauer, an ICE spokesperson. “Any groups falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support.”
Deportations across the nation
The unfounded rumors come after more than 600 arrests took place from California to New York, ABC News reported.
The arrests were part of a series of operations targeting “public safety threats” as well as “individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws,” according to a Department of Homeland Security statement received by ABC News.
The arrests raised the ire of immigrant rights advocates, who accused ICE of carrying random sweeps following President Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric on immigration.
ICE, on the other hand, said the operations were planned weeks before the president signed executive orders last month.
A ‘Day Without Immigrants’
A flyer that’s spreading on social media urges undocumented immigrants and advocates partake in a nationwide strike Thursday, which hopes to raise awareness of how important immigrants are to this nation.
It asks people to not show up to work, refrain from making purchases of any kind, and asks students not to show up to class.
“Mr. President, without us and our contribution this country is paralyzed,” the flyer reads.
At least two businesses on Broadway – Adelitas Cocina y Cantina and Maria Empanada – will participate in the strike.
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