‘Posting information like this is irresponsible.’ ICE says raid fliers are fake

ICE has dismissed this fake flier which has been appearing in neighborhoods in the Porterville area.
ICE has dismissed this fake flier which has been appearing in neighborhoods in the Porterville area.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are dismissing a flier that’s been appearing in neighborhoods — making claims about supposed raids by the agency — as a fake.

The flier, which is designed to appear as if it’s printed with the official ICE logo, states the agency will be carrying out raids on businesses and private homes in the Porterville and Terra Bella areas from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

It goes further to say that a “local patriot citizen group” would also conduct its own raids to “encourage any foreign invaders (illegals) that are left to leave on their own.”

“There will also be consequences for any who employ illegals. This is our country and we will not stand by and see it taken over,” the flier continues.

The flier provides ICE’s real number to report violations.

Fight Back California spokeswoman Robin Swanson said someone forwarded her the flier and told her the they were “being handed out in a Latino neighborhood,” in congressional District 22 in Tulare County. “I think it was a scare tactic,” she said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE spokesman Richard A. Rocha on Wednesday dismissed the flier as a fake, saying the agency doesn’t provide advance notice ahead of planned operations.

“Additionally, the agency’s immigration enforcement efforts are targeted on specific individuals and our officers do not perform indiscriminate sweeps in local communities,” he said in a statement. “Posting information like this is irresponsible and should not be considered factual nor from the agency.”

Rocha added that anyone in the community, regardless of their immigration status, “who is harassed, harmed or threatened by non-law enforcement officers should report those activities to their local law enforcement agency.”

Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil wasn’t immediately available to say whether his department was investigating the fake fliers, and how widely they have been circulated.

Rocha said the agency couldn’t confirm whether ICE investigates these kinds of incidents. “However, we could potentially look into this,” he said.

Rocha couldn’t quantify how often such incidents happens, but did say “(we) have seen it in other parts of the country, too.”

Yesenia Amaro: 559-441-6144; @YeseniaAmaro