Unsubstantiated ICE raid rumors spread fear through Denver-area immigrant communities

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FEDERAL HEIGHTS, Colo. — Several businesses in metro Denver are reporting a drop in business after threats of ICE raids, which caused considerable fear in some communities Monday.

However, the reports were unsubstantiated.

Gladys Ibarra works for a group called Colorado Rapid Response Network, which provides immigrants with access to legal advice and “a structure to resist ICE civil rights abuses in Colorado,” according to its website.

Ibarra said so many people were calling the network Monday, multiple people were needed to help answer phones.

“I know that people might have heard that there have been ICE raids or that ICE was stopping vehicles,” Ibarra said.

There were two rumors of ICE raids Monday: one at Federal Boulevard and West 92nd Avenue, and another at Federal and West Exposition Avenue.

The reports spread quickly on social media.

“People are scared. That’s a real fear that they hold and false information comes out — it affects their everyday lives,” Ibarra said.

Mario Olivas runs a cellphone store on East 88th Avenue in Thornton, a predominantly Hispanic area.

“We usually take in about 10 to 20 payments from 5 to 6, but nothing today,” Olivas said.

People in these areas started worrying after President Donald Trump tweeted that the administration would launch nationwide immigration raids.

But over the weekend, the president said he was postponing the deportations.

There are many questions now about what happens next.

ICE did not confirm to FOX31 and Channel 2 whether any immigrants in the country illegally in metro Denver were apprehended Monday.

ICE released this statement:

ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations daily nationwide as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.  These operations involve existing and established Fugitive Operations Teams.

During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter other aliens illegally present in the United States.  These aliens are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when appropriate, they are arrested by ICE officers.

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