For 17 years, Maria Piedra has owned her Charter Services Income Tax and Travel Agency in Downtown Stockton.
“My business is going a little bit down, no business," said Piedra.
Actually, she says she has never seen it this bad in all her time there.
She says it’s all because of rumored ICE raids or because of families heading back to Mexico on their own to make sure their families are not split up if immigration agents do show up.
“It’s sad. They take care of their family, their kids. They work for food. They don’t ask for nothing from the government. It’s sad they don’t have a job no more," said Piedra.
Community activist Luis Magana has become somewhat of a rumor investigator. He says he personally investigates at least 10 rumors a day.
With the immigrant community much more on a heightened sense of alert regarding ICE, he says, rumors of ICE raids are circulating more and more on social media.
“It’s like taking a photo and one posts something just for curious and say this is migra, the ICE, and it’s not true," said Magana.
says rumors have gotten to the point where just yesterday he got a call ICE had set up a Maganacheck point on Center Street in Downtown Stockton. It turns out it was a public works crew doing road work.
In fact, Magana drove out to where the crew was himself just to confirm the rumor was false. He believes some people are spreading ICE rumors just for kicks.
“It’s that people like to play and posting for reaction. There is a lot of comments and advice to other people," said Magana.
At one downtown laundromat, the manager says business has dropped off significantly during the day and is much busier now at night. It’s all because of fears of ICE and the potential that one day those undocumented could be deported.
Magana had this advice for those afraid.
“Don’t try to spread,” he said. “Don’t be part of the rumors.”