MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A photo that purports to show border patrol agents arresting someone in front of a New Jersey business is a digitally altered fake, officials said.
Morristown officials say it's unclear where the photo being circulated on social media came from or why it was created.
"It's clearly a scare tactic and it's being superimposed in front of Latino businesses," said Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty.
The Democratic mayor said some Latino residents have been afraid to send their children to school or visit local businesses because they worry they will be detained.
He also said they shouldn't be afraid to call police if they need help. He said Morristown will not participate in the federal government's 287(g) program, in which the Department of Homeland Security trains local law enforcement to perform the work of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Morristown officials issued a statement Tuesday saying they have "persistently shown support for all members of the community and will continue to implement fair and welcoming policies."
Dougherty said he's also heard of scams in other municipalities where people take advantage of immigrants by posing as ICE agents in order to extort money from them.
About one-third of the population in Morristown, about 30 miles west of New York City, is Hispanic.
The Associated Press