Cathedral City, CA
There have been multiple reports from viewers in regards to Immigration Customs and Enforcement running some kind of operation in the desert. Reports have been sent in saying people have seen them ask for ID, load up a van, and hit the highway.
We were able to get an interview with one witness that said, a border patrol like SUV pulled up and two officers got out of their vehicle and asked two random people walking near Cardenas for their identification. Those two people eventually walked away.
ICE Western Regional Communications Director/Spokesperson, Virginia Kice had this to say, "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement actions every day around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to uphold public safety and border security. These activities involve existing, longstanding ICE Fugitive Operations Teams."
However rumors currently being circulated, many on social media, claiming the agency is operating checkpoints or conducting sweeps that target aliens indiscriminately are entirely false. These reports create panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Any groups or individuals falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support.
We’re a law enforcement organization and we make arrests every day throughout the seven-county jurisdiction that falls under the Los Angeles Field Office of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. That said, my operational colleagues are not aware of any arrests conducted today in those specific communities you named. Per my email…for the last two weeks we’ve have been inundated with reports about purported ICE enforcement activities that turned out to be false. I don’t want to speculate about why people are spreading rumors, but their actions are creating a dangerous environment for residents and law enforcement alike."
We reached out to Ralph DeSio, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs – Media Division who has this to say, "This area belongs to the El Centro Sector Border Patrol and it’s Indio Station. However, they informed me that they do NOT have any operations going on in that area."
We will have updates and more details to come.