Metro

ICE official says no arrests made in Massachusetts Saturday

Amid reports from around the country that federal immigration authorities are conducting raids in major cities including Los Angeles and New York, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Boston said Saturday no arrests had taken place in Massachusetts.

Panic spread on social media Saturday with rumors that a raid had been conducted at a Somerville restaurant, but the spokesman, Shawn Neudauer, said that those reports were incorrect. The owner of the restaurant said late Saturday afternoon that he had no idea where the rumor had come from.

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“I think there’s a lot of fear right now,” said city spokeswoman Denise Taylor, who said the police chief confirmed there was no ICE activity in Somerville Saturday.

Taylor said that rumors like that can spread under normal circumstances, so it was not surprising to see them gain traction when people are on edge as many are now.

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Advocacy groups have said that ICE officers are rounding up people in large numbers around the country as part of stepped-up enforcement under President Donald Trump. They said Saturday that a roundup in Southern California was especially heavy-handed and cited arrests in places such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Texas and North Carolina that have rattled immigrants.

ICE officials in other parts of the country said they are simply enforcing the laws and conducting routine enforcement targeting immigrants in the country illegally with criminal records. Authorities said it’s no different than what happened during the Obama years on a regular basis.

Globe Correspondent Felicia Gans contributed to this report and material from the Associated Press was used in it. Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com.
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