A state lawmaker in Massachusetts posted a warning on her Facebook page March 28 about an alleged raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
Michelle DuBois, Democratic State Rep. for the city of Brockton, said she had received the information from a friend in the Latino community, according to the Boston Herald.
"If you are undocumented, don't go out on the street," Dubois wrote, the Herald reported. "If there is a knock on the door of your house and you don't know who it is, don't open the door. I ask you to be careful."
DuBois' post was criticized by Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, a Republican who has long called for immigration controls.
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"It completely undermines law enforcement," he said during testimony to the House Sub-Committee on Immigration in Washington.
DuBois maintained she had shared information which was already circulating. However, ICE refused to confirm whether any operations had been planned.
"Passing information along that is already all over the community not only lets the people I represent know what is happening, it lets ICE know that everyone in Brockton is aware of ICE's planned raid (if there was one)," she told the Herald via text message.
She also sought to reach out to her critics.
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"I hope we can work on all the other issues together and that this one difference of opinion does not hurt our working relationship," she added in the Facebook post..
Shawn Neudauer, an ICE spokesman, also took issue with DuBois' post. He said that ICE does not conduct sweeps of local areas.
"Any person who actively insights panic or fear of law enforcement is doing a disservice to the community, endangering public safety and the very people they claim to support and represent," he said.
But DuBois disagreed.
"There are many people in Brockton (documented and not) as well as people across this nation who are terrified," added DuBois. "This rumor of an ICE raid in Brockton was widespread in Brockton. There have been many ICE raids in the city."
In February, a similar incident occurred when a local councilor in Haverhill posted a warning on his Facebook page about an impending ICE raid.
City councilor Andy Vargas posted in English and Spanish about the raid, leaving his cell phone number for families to contact him to find out about their rights. Vargas defended the post, saying it was his job to inform and educate people about their rights.
Neudauer denied ICE had engaged in a raid in Haverhill.
"The rumors are false as far as I can ascertain," Neudauer told the Eagle Tribune. "ICE was not involved."