While social media can provide useful and fun ways to stay in touch with family and friends, it can also be used to scare, intimidate and bully people. California law enforcement officials say there have been recent social media hoaxes that claim checkpoints have been set up to find undocumented immigrants, who would then be deported.
immigrantion officials say no checkpoints are in place or are being planned. An investigation has been launched in a California community north of San Diego.
A Fontana police spokesperson said that whoever is perpetrating the hoaxes appears to be “trying to create a public panic.” He said “fake news can spread quickly via social media,” adding that the department encourages people to fact-check these kinds of stories.
A Los Angeles police officer said the only checkpoints in the city this weekend will be to catch drunk drivers; something that is done every year at Super Bowl time.
immigrantion groups say the hoaxes are causing apprehension among some immigrants in the United States without green cards or other documentation. They add that the president has previously vowed a nationwide crackdown on undocumented immigrants, so it is understandable that there is anxiety among immigrants.
“We know there will be real, definite actions coming that will affect a lot of people,” a spokesperson for the Coalition for Humane immigrantion Rights said. That understanding means that “people are going to put some more stock in these rumors.”
For those who have a loved one fighting detention or deportation, it makes sense to speak with an experienced immigrantion attorney who can help with navigation of the system.