False Report of ICE Raid Causes Panic in East San Jose | NBC Bay Area
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False Report of ICE Raid Causes Panic in East San Jose

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rumors of a raid by immigration agents in East San Jose sent an entire community scrambling Tuesday. It was an example of just how concerned many are about President Donald Trump's current stance on immigration. Damian Trujillo reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017)

    The rumors were false, but the panic was very real.

    Rumors of a raid by immigration agents in East San Jose sent an entire community scrambling Tuesday. It was an example of just how concerned many are about President Donald Trump's current stance on immigration.

    On Wednesday, many in the immigrant community were looking for answers a day after the false alarm at Story and King roads in San Jose.

    All it took was one person reporting that they saw Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the area to trigger a very real panic in South Bay schools, neighborhoods and even city government.

    The Alum Rock School District called an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to talk about the false community report of the raid.

    "It was very troublesome," said Hilaria Bauer, superintendent for the district.

    On Wednesday, the school district established protocols in case of any real immigration raids in the future. Their concerns were the children who might be left behind if their parents are deported.

    "We want to be ready for our families," Bauer said. "Specifically our students, if something like this happens. How are we going to be dealing with students that are not picked up from school at the end of the day."

    One idea being considered is to make robo calls to parents, alerting them to have a plan such as designating someone to pick up and care for their children.

    Police Chief Eddie Garcia said his phone was blowing up Tuesday, with council members calling to get answers that the chief didn’t have.

    "We obviously had to send some officers out to the area," Garcia said.

    On Wednesday, the chief spent the day waiting for a call back from the local ICE office.

    "It really came to light that we need to meet with the DHS and local ICE so we can have some open lines of communication, and we can really separate fact from fiction and eliminate the panic because it's just not healthy," Garcia said.

    ICE told NBC Bay Area it does not perform random raids like the one described in the false alarm Tuesday. The agency said it makes targeted arrests of people who are wanted for committing crimes.

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