Update 01/26/18: This article has been updated to reflect recent developments.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, vehicle was spotted near the UC Berkeley campus Friday morning, causing alarm among community members until it was confirmed that immigration agents had been invited to speak at a campus event.
The vehicle was initially spotted in the Genetics Garage on the northwest side of campus near Barker Hall.
URGENT: ICE has been confirmed on the North-West side of UC Berkeley. Van was last sighted by Yali’s Cafe.
— MUA (@mujrsunidas) January 26, 2018
An email from the Undocumented Student Program alleged that the immigration agents were invited to speak on campus by the Global Entry program.
“There is nothing to be alarmed about,” said Undocumented Student Program counselor Liliana Iglesias.
Update: apparently agents were invited to speak at a forum, community has been told to not be alarmed of their presence. (Besides this whole situation being a shit show)
— gia (@giaawoman) January 26, 2018
This false alarm comes amid threats of immigration sweeps in the San Francisco Bay Area. Immigration officials are preparing to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented individuals in the Bay Area as a response to California becoming a sanctuary state last year.
The Department of Justice has also threatened to issue a subpoena to the city of Berkeley, among other “sanctuary” jurisdictions, if it does not hand over documents showing whether or not local law enforcement is sharing information with federal immigration authorities.
Check back for updates.