News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Feb. 15, 2017: Fake news has hit close to home for many in the Caribbean Diaspora, sending some immigrants stunned and reeling in fear and leaving others simply puzzled.
In the Caribbean immigrant community in New York City, some are using the immigration status of many to stoke fear and anguish. As U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents completed a nationwide sweep, arresting 680 immigrants, including 40 in New York City, some unscrupulous individuals have begun sending out information of more planned raids in the Caribbean community.
Except, according to immigration advocate, Irwine Clare, Sr., O.D., managing director of the Caribbean Immigrant Services, the information is absolutely false.
He said some of the fake news being disseminated on Whatsapp and social media includes claims that ICE agents are planning to next raid Caribbean restaurants and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Clare said, as a result, many restaurants have reported seeing a drop in business as immigrants have begun staying away while he said he is fielding a lot of calls from many immigrants who are fearful of being detained and deported.
“This is completely irresponsible. To attack our own small businesses this way and to stoke the level of fear in our community is reprehensible especially at this time,” Clare told NAN Tuesday.
Meanwhile, other Caribbean Diaspora nationals are puzzled at news circulating on social media that Jamaica and Guyana are about to become U.S. territories.
A fake media site calling itself states-tv.com posted this week that Jamaica and Guyana are both “on the verge of becoming U.S. territories” and would “…become a sub-national administrative division directly overseen by the United States federal government.”
Many Caribbean nationals were sharing the news around on Facebook and via Whatsapp before realizing it was totally false.
Concern about the phenomenon has led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue.
Factcheck.org is warning readers how to spot fake news. They urge to beware of the source of the news, pay attention to the site domain and read beyond the headline.