NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump’s tough talk on immigration is reverberating in New York’s melting pot.

As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reports, false stories about widespread immigration sweeps are going viral across social media and creating a climate of fear.

It looked like a ghost town inside the Mexican restaurant run by Cesar Rodriguez along Port Richmond Avenue on Staten Island.

“It has been very slow,” he said.

Rodriguez said his business is down more than 50 percent since bogus reports of widespread Immigration and Customs Enforcement checkpoints at places like subway stations started popping up on social media. One warned people they could even be stopped on the 6 train.

“Because everybody’s afraid to come, everybody’s afraid to walk on Port Richmond, where there’s been fake news about raids,” he said.

ICE has been targeting criminal, illegal aliens in New York City and around the country, but a spokesperson told CBS2, “reports of ICE checkpoints and sweeps are false, dangerous and irresponsible.”

“There’s people that are afraid to leave their homes. There’s people that stopped going to work,” said immigration advocate Fahd Ahmed, of Queens.

Ahmed is trying to stop the misinformation.

“A lot of people are putting up reports about suspected ICE raids online and they just proliferate and spread like wildfire,” he said.

With so much confusion and fear on the streets, scam artists posing as ICE officers are targeting immigrants in Woodside, Queens, demanding cash and threatening deportation.

“First and foremost, no ICE officer, no police officer, no officer, would ever seek money in exchange for not being detained,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

The councilman said four suspects dressed like ICE agents conned $250 from a terrified immigrant.

“We don’t want any immigrants in our community to be so fearful that they have to give their money, as this man did,” Van Bramer said.

“They have to be more informed about what’s going on around them,” Rodriguez said, hoping his customers will come out of hiding.

Comments (71)
  1. Frank Morris says:

    Priebus, Paul Ryan and the Rinos are pushing Trump hard to keep Obama’s “dreamers” amnesty. That’s the REAL reason why Trump did not undo DACA yet. Everything else are just excuses. As you read this 800 applications a day being accepted and approved for illegals under DACA. At the same time Our own adult kids can’t find a job. Trump could stop DACA with a strike of a pen. Leave a comment on Trump’s facebook page or Tweet. @realDonaldTrump Stop Obama’s executive amnesties!! Keep your promise. #EndDaca

  2. The ONLY people that should be worried about ICE agents are the criminal ILLEGALS that have flooded the country since that loser Obama was in place..

  3. Garth Bowen says:

    Trump is silently enforcing e-verify rules. Companies are starting to fire their workers.

  4. Hmm, maybe all those illegal-alien criminal invader Mexicans shouldn’t have disrespected my country by sneaking in illegally.

    Oh, well – round ’em up and deport ’em! Don’t break up families – deport all the kiddies with Mommy and Daddy, too!

  5. Burn, NYC, Burn! Couldn’t happen to a nicer city.

  6. Makes one wonder where these people got the money to go to the restaurants??????? A clue may be our generous welfare system paid by us via taxes.

  7. I drove through a checkpoint today. It’s not a rumor.

    1. Great, the more the better! Round ’em up, deport ’em.

  8. Frank Morris says:

    Obama’s DACA Army the “dreamers” can fraudulently register to vote in many liberal states. The DACA amnesty program apparently still up and running, handing out amnesty, work permits, etc. Trump could stop it with a strike of a pen. Leave a comment on Trump’s facebook page or Tweet. @realDonaldTrump Stop Obama’s executive amnesties! Keep your promise #EndDaca

  9. Jay Barbieri says:

    Another fake story by a fake MSM.
    Much to do about NOTHING!.

  10. Jack Davis says:

    IMMIGRANTS have nothing to fear. ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS should be afraid!!

  11. Sparky Mills says:

    Only a leftist democrat can’t see the JOY in deporting these parasites. Job openings for all !

  12. Sparky Mills says:

    This is PROOF of how out-of-control this country is. NONE of the people that are “suddenly” disappearing, BELONG IN THIS COUNTRY !!!

  13. I love how they keep saying “immigrants”…… Legal Immigrants shouldnt be worried about going out to eat at this fine establishment…… UNLESS………. they are ILLEGAL immigrants. If thats the case then yes they should be in fear as they are currently breaking the law! At least ICE now knows what restaurant they are all eating at lol

    1. Oh and what jobs are they illegally working at? because they shouldnt be afraid to work IF they legally here working a legal job. So lets get 2 birds with one stone here, get the illegals rounded up and shut down the businesses hiring them!

  14. Carl Ball says:

    there is a far easier way to catch these illegals! the minute they sign up for welfare or social programs they leave a trail! so all ice has to do is get a warrant to search the files in every state and it’s get the bus warmed up for the trip back or by plane using a c130 or a c5 behemoth and land in the country they came from. in the end we will see the collusion of the mexican government corrupted by money for funneling them to the northern border!

  15. Our own adult kids can’t find a job!
    Obama’s “dreamer” Amnesty program apparently still up and running, handing out amnesty, work permits, etc. Leave a comment on Trump’s facebook page or Tweet. @realDonaldTrump Stop Obama’s executive amnesties! #EndDaca

  16. Ted Donahue says:


  17. Lynn Thacker says:

    Sounds good to me. If you are here illegally you should be afraid. Law breakers need to have consequences no matter what the crime. It is about time we stop selectively enforcing our laws. The average citizen doesn’t get to choose which laws they abide by or break. Either come here legally or get thrown out. Simple.

  18. Ted Jones says:

    For future reference the owner alerted ICE that 505 of the people at his restaurant may be illegals. LOL

  19. Mike Arvand says:

    Why are they afraid… are they illegal?

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  20. Better put some ICE on that…

  21. To show how much America has Mexicanized over the last four decades, I visited NYC in the early eighties with a USN buddy who lived there. Being a Texan, what I really wanted was some good Mexican food. Though I’m sure there were a few, we couldn’t find one.

    It was the same in Norfolk, VA where I was stationed. The area had over a million people, and the only Mexican restaurant there was Taco Bell.

  22. Clinton has won the popular vote because illegals were voting. Obama’s DACA Army the “dreamers” got driver license, temporary social security numbers, everything they need to vote illegally, THEY DID. Obama’s amnesty program apparently still up and running, handing out amnesty, work permits, etc. We better stop that. Leave a comment on Trump’s facebook page or Tweet. @realDonaldTrump Stop Obama’s executive amnesties! #EndDaca

  23. Ra Williams says:

    Down 50%? Lot of bad hombres around NYC?

  24. Joe Boltonn says:

    Sounds fake…If there were a real panic over immigration enforcement, it would be among the STAFF of the restaurant, not the customers.

  25. What that means is that there’s too many illegals in the city.

  26. Nice! Can’t wait until all 30 million illegal criminals leave…imagine how many hundreds of billions of dollars a year we’ll save!

  27. Jose Jimenez says:

    So Third World USA is scared?

    1. Mario Leli says:

      whats the matter speek? you see your area in US turning 3rd world? it is because of low life messicans like you

  28. Just walk into a Mexican joint and announce you’re there to check car insurance cards and registration pink slips,100% of their customers will vanish.

  29. libserum says:

    Elitist media hysteria victimize Hispanic visitors, creating crisis mentality.
    Brutal political agenda of a heartless calculating apparatchiks bent on hatred.

  30. People in the country illegally are afraid for the first time that they might get deported, and that’s a problem because?

    1. Hao De says:

      when a squad car drives by, the gang bangers scatter.

  31. As you read this 800 applications/renewals a day being accepted and approved for illegals under
    Obama’s DACA amnesty. At the same time, Our own adult kids can’t find a job. Trump could stop DACA with a strike of a pen. Leave a comment on Trump’s facebook page or Tweet. @realDonaldTrump Stop Obama’s executive amnesties!! Keep your promise. #EndDaca

  32. Tom Ronson says:

    Are they sure it is because of the immigration issues? Could very well be due to the smell of that Mexican food.
    I walked into a Mexican restaurant 25 years ago and almost threw up. How anyone can eat that crap is mystifying.

    1. rufusvondufus says:

      You must be really biased because a vast majority of us “Europeans” truly enjoy the flavor and tastes of Mexican food served by “legal” immigrants but not at all if served by “illegals” as there is a huge difference. One group is legal and the other is criminal. If you are illegal, LEAVE!

  33. Jay Davis says:

    Doesn’t say much about the intelligence and legal status of the restaurant’s customers.

  34. Jess Hansen says:

    Not immigrants, ILLEGAL aliens.

    1. rufusvondufus says:

      Sadly, Jess, Democrats are too stupid to be able to tell the difference. My girlfriend was a dem and is no longer my girlfriend!

  35. Am I missing something…Why would business be down because of Ice..?Ice isnt looking for their customers

  36. Eagle in NYC says:

    The Democrats have been lying about Trump ever since the primary, so it’s no wonder that their low-information constituents (both legal and extra-legal) believe them and panic.

    We have to stop the invasion.

    We have to stop the lying media (the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party).

    We have to fire the Marxist de Blasio, just as we did Dinkins.

    This great city deserves FAR better.

  37. ICE needs to post an agent at all supermarket GOYA isles and have a paddywagon ready out back. . Check ID at all Spanish and portuguese or Mexican restaurants.

    1. Goya is a Puerto Rican brand, owned by a conservative Christian family that openly and actively supports the Republican party and US statehood for the Island. Members of the family were on stage at Trump’s inauguration.

  38. “Fake news” from CBS now becomes CBS’ story!!! As if there isn’t enough out there? Bottom line – MSM is so full of crap – they don’t care how much they lie, who they hurt and what they do.


    This is 50% about press making $$$$$$$$, Greedy.
    50% about left wing massive bias – they HATE Trump and REAL Americans.

  39. Wish I was young. I would join ICE. Government should just make it policy that if you are illegal and you self deport you have a shot at coming back. If we throw you out no chance.

  40. If Fake news of ICE raids gets ILLEGALS to leave then great news!

  41. It’s illegal immigration that Trump is talking about not legal immigration. ICE crackdowns have nothing to do with legal immigration.

    1. And it is illegals with a criminal record that are being deported. If these people aren’t smart enough to know that they should go back to the hole they came from rather than bring their culture here.

  42. Rick Corelli says:

    Sleep in your running shoes

  43. Tom Masters says:

    CBS happily plays it’s roll………….

  44. blenderrecipes says:


  45. hocuspocus13 says:

    The tough talk is actually in fact the DemocRats tough immigration policy that the DemocRats

    Voted yes on
    And signed into law by DemocRat President Johnson in 1965

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