Officials in Chelsea, Massachusetts, are warning the public after fraudulent documents threatened some residents with deportation.
The alarming notice, falsely claiming to be from the Department of Homeland Security, targeted immigrants in the city. Police are telling residents it's a scam.
"Evidently, there was some type of fraudulent communication that was put together by someone or some group that went around," said Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes.
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"That's scary and crazy," said resident Ivis Sanchez.
"It had on the letterhead, said 'Department of Homeland Security,' it said 'Notice of removal,' that you were going to be removed for either crossing the border, staying here beyond legal visitation and so forth, and other reasons," Kyes explained.
The fake notice reads, in part, "We have surveillance of you at your residence and employment. We order you to leave the country on your own no later than October 31, or we will deploy a SWAT team to extract you from your Chelsea Massachusetts residence."
"Therein lies the fear, the fact that someone gets something like this, they don't reach out to law enforcement," Kyes said. "Some of these individuals that are here without status."
The date listed indicates they were sent before the election, possibly an attempt to impact the outcome.
"You don't know if it's some type of nefarious motive, someone that's just trying to harass a certain group of individuals, a certain group of targeted individuals," Kyes said.
In a community with many immigrants, it sparked strong emotions.
"I feel very sad," said Sanchez. "It's scary, because if they receive that letter, they're going to be scared about their family, worry about what's going to happen, and that's very scary."
But police assure residents they are safe.
"You can trust the Chelsea Police, we work hand-in-hand with our members of the community," Kyes said. "We do not enforce immigration law, that's beyond our realm of responsibility."
Authorities are still investigating who is behind these threats. Anyone with information is urged to call the Chelsea Police Department.