A fraudulent letter circulating in Chelsea tells residents to leave the U.S., police say

The document claims to be from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Authorities say it is not.

Some Chelsea residents recently received a fraudulent letter claiming to have been sent by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and informing them that they must leave the country for several reasons, including undocumented immigration, police say.

Police Chief Brian Kyes posted a partial copy of the document — which includes the header, “Notice of Removal” — on Twitter Thursday, directing those who received the letter or one similar to it to disregard its orders.

“This was NOT sent from the Department of Homeland Security in Burlington,” Kyes wrote. “DHS-(Immigration and Customs Enforcement) verified that this communication did not come from ICE.”

ICE spokesperson John Mohan confirmed to Boston.com in an email the letter was not from the agency.

Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office Director Todd Lyons spoke with Kyes, who brought the matter to the attention of ICE, on Thursday, Mohan said.

“Among other things, the language used in this correspondence is not the type of language that is contained in official agency notifications/correspondence on removals,” Mohan said.

The letter inaccurately tells residents DHS is “aware of your unlawful presence and employment in the country,” and claims to have surveillance of the individuals at their homes and workplaces. Recipients are given the option to leave “immediately” on their own by Oct. 31 or “we will deploy a swat (sic) team to extract you,” the document falsely states.

The letter continues by listing several reasons “our government instituted immediate removal proceedings against you,” including entering the country without a visa or being checked by an immigration officer, illegal employment, tax evasion, false claims of citizenship, and “falsification of documents to drive a vehicle.”


Mohan said ICE recommends that anyone who receives correspondence that claims to be from the agency about an order of removal should call the Enforcement and Removal Operations detention and reporting information line — 1-888-351-4024 — to confirm its accuracy.

Chelsea, an immigrant hub of Greater Boston, is one of Massachusetts’s several so-called “sanctuary cities,” where local police are restricted in how they cooperate with federal immigration enforcement agents.

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