Organizers with immigrant advocacy group Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson told Spectrum News they began receiving calls Wednesday morning from their followers, telling them Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents appeared to be conducting raids in Midtown Kingston.
Kingston Police confirmed those accounts, saying ICE agents were conducting some kind of operations, and one of the agents dropped by the department asking to use the restroom.
As bulletins went out over social media from activist groups and the City of Kingston, Midtown — a neighborhood heavily populated with recently arrived hispanic immigrants — began to look like a ghost town.
NLMH organizers posted its warning to followers early Wednesday morning on social media, after an organizer shared video and photos of what he claimed were ICE agents walking around a house and looking in windows.
Their advice to followers is: Do not open doors, record what you see, and report it.
In the city of Kingston's bulletin, officials advised the public to remain silent (except for saying one's name), not to sign anything, not to open the door, and not to consent to any search.
"ICE lies," the bulletin stated in closing. "Do not agree to what ICE asks. For example, do not follow them to their office, to immigration offices, or do not agree to meet them for coffee."
NLMH Ulster County Organizer Diana Lopez said that according to the phone calls she has received, ICE went to about five homes in Midtown, and nobody was detained because no one opened the door.
Despite no reports of anyone being taken into custody, Lopez said NLMH organizers are now struggling to help those whose doors were knocked on.
"They're not trusting of anyone, even us, to open the door," Lopez said Wednesday afternoon, during an interview at NLMH's Kingston office. "We are trying to reach them to find out if they're okay, and if there's any help we can give them."
Lopez said the reports of ICE activity came from addresses on Elmendorf Street, Henry Street, Washington Avenue, and Smith Street.
Spectrum News has reached out to ICE seeking comment on Wednesday's activity. As of Wednesday evening, ICE has not responded.