HARTFORD – Claims of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in Hartford have forced the city’s mayor to put rumors to rest.
Hartford Police “have confirmed that this was not an ICE checkpoint,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin tweeted Monday night.
On Monday afternoon, word spread on social media of ICE officials conducting a “checkpoint” at Union Station. “THERE IS AN ICE CHECKPOINT AT THE HARTFORD CT TRAIN STATION,” one account tweeted shortly before 4:00 p.m. Monday. “PLEASE SHARE. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD,” the account tweeted. Similar posts were also shared on Facebook.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Connecticut State Police “were conducting a routine explosives check,” the mayor said.
In June, Mayor Bronin wrote a letter to Hartford ICE director Aldean Beaumont, urging the agency to not conduct any immigration “raids” in the city. The letter came days after President Donald Trump discussed nationwide ICE raids. President Trump later announced a delay in those raids.
“On behalf of the City of Hartford, I am writing to reiterate that this kind of enforcement will not improve public safety in Hartford, and even the consideration and threat of this kind of enforcement is damaging to public trust and creates unnecessary fear within our immigrant communities,” Bronin said in the letter dated June 24.
“And even if you do not share my view that immigrants are our strength as a city and a nation, I am asking that, at the very least, you do not operate in a manner that interferes with the City of Hartford’s relationship with our residents,” Mayor Bronin said.
In March 2017, Mayor Bronin and then-Police Chief James Rovella accused ICE agents of dressing as local police in an effort to meet with an undocumented woman.
“ICE Agents should not identify as local police as it is misleading and can damage the important relationship with our local communities,” Chief Rovella said at the time.