St. Paul Public Schools says it did not send out a text message warning families of immigration enforcement raids today.
A message saying the opposite has been spreading on social media. It reads:
"Saint Paul Public Schools just sent out a text that ICE is sweeping St Paul today. Be careful, friends. Please share widely. (Copy & paste bc this is not public)."
St. Paul Public Schools said Wednesday that it is untrue.
They also directed people to read their statement regarding immigrants and refugees, noting: "We welcome all with open hearts and open minds."
While the district's alert about the text message being false went out at 1:47 p.m., the fake message is still being spread and repeated by users two hours later.
Recent ICE arrests and enforcement
The fabricated St. Paul Public Schools text alert story comes after a week that saw hundreds of immigration arrests around the country by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, commonly referred to as ICE.
Nine people were arrested in the southern Twin Cities metro on Tuesday, Feb. 7, as part of routine enforcement, a spokesperson for ICE told GoMN.
That came amidst a series of "targeted enforcement operations" that took place across the country. More than 680 people were arrested in the Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, and New York City areas.
ICE said 235 of those came in Midwestern states (though not within the St. Paul Field Office's area of responsibility, the spokesperson said), including Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri.
The Department of Homeland Security said about three-quarters of those arrested had been convicted of crimes.
"ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years," the department's release notes.
These types of operations are not currently being conducted in Minnesota, the ICE spokesperson told GoMN, though everyday routine enforcement is continuing as normal.