The Flagstaff Police Department is investigating a letter with false information about "unauthorized" immigrants being at risk of immediate removal to a deportation facility if the person is reported to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office or the Flagstaff Police Department.

The letter, which has been received by at least one resident, states that officers from those local agencies are being deputized as official Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officers.

The Flagstaff Police Department has confirmed that the statements made in this letter are false.

The department stated that it is not involved in any immigration enforcement activity with ICE. In a press release, the agency said it continues to hold a philosophy of not engaging in general “round ups” of undocumented persons. No officers with the Flagstaff Police Department have been deputized as ICE officers, according to the press release. 

The letter was sent by a group called the Legal Americans Surveillance Citizens Project from a Flagstaff post office box. It states that people associated with the group are "positioned to support President Trump's agenda to rid our country - through enforcement and removal - of all who are not legal - and therefore not true citizens."

"We are organized to keep a watch in our neighborhoods and to report the suspected presence of persons residing among us without legal documentation, officially known as illegal aliens," the letter stated. 

Anyone receiving one of these letters is encouraged to report it to the police department so it can be determined if a crime is being committed and if certain people are being specifically targeted due to their race or ethnicity. Please reference Departmental Report P17-12131 when making a report.

The police department dispatch number is (928) 774-1414. 

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Emery Cowan writes about science, health and the environment for the Arizona Daily Sun, covering everything from forest restoration to endangered species recovery efforts.

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