The weekend has been filled with rumors of ICE checkpoints, mass arrests, and deportations. Thus far, most of the rumored arrests appear to be just rumors.
Rumors that Suffolk police have been arresting people in Brentwood and quickly placing them into nearby ICE vans are untrue. Photos being circulated on social media of ICE arrests have turned out to be from other states. Local ICE says that there are no special operations going on here on Long Island.
There are a number of reports of ICE activity that we are still investigating, but it seems as though many of the reports of ICE raids were of local police activity unrelated to ICE.
There is also an untrue rumor that ICE is about to arrest thousands of Central Americans from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras beginning on January 2. That rumor has its roots in a report by the Washington Post on plans by ICE to arrest “hundreds” of Central Americans nationwide who entered the U.S. without authorization after January 1, 2014 and who were ordered deported.
This is far from the general roundup of Central American immigrants that the rumors claim is occurring. In fact, the number of people affected is likely to be less than 1% of those who came here.
To be targeted for arrest, the person must have been arrested by ICE or the Border Patrol when they tried to enter the United States and have had their case sent to immigration court. If the person then lost their case, or failed to appear for their hearing, and if the person was then ordered deported, then they may be a target of this new program of arrests.
Other Central Americans, those who were not arrested, or those who were arrested but whose cases have not been decided yet by the courts, are not a target for arrest under this new ICE initiative.
Readers should check in regularly here at Long Island Wins where I will provide updates on this developing story.