All around social media this past Tuesday in New York City a viral message claiming there was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "checkpoint” at the 23rd Street N/Q/R/W subway station in Manhattan. For example this tweet states the following:

Hearing rumors of an ICE checkpoint in NYC at the 23rd Street Station for the N/Q/R/W trains.

If you’re a person of color, please be safe and adjust your travel.

If you’re not and have the privilege of US citizenship, please go and give ICE a piece of your mind.

As well as this one:

NYC folks:


And I even found this odd article from Cleveland, Ohio that touches on the topic; and yes the claim is refuted at the end but still no NYC local media info refuting the point either:

Two hours later, in New York City, another Twitter user made a similar report: "ICE CHECKPOINT: 23rd Street NRQW trains (near Madison Sq Park). NOW." A friend mentioned that the checkpoint might be fake, and that people went to protest and they didn't find anything.

Now, I know this is hyper-local to New York City, but I still find this odd: Since the terrorist attacks of 9-11 there have been semi-random bag checkpoints at some NYC subway stations. This is basically an NYPD (New York City Police Department) manned bag inspection station that is setup to inspect random passengers bags.

I can personally attest to having seen some of these bag checkpoints—which have been in effect since July 21, 2005—manned by people wearing TSA (Transportation Security Agency) gear. And for all I know, the TSA co-operated with the NYPD at times. But that’s neither here nor there.

The claims of there being an ICE specific checkpoint at a subway station around 23rd Street seems odd, panicky and simply gossip. Can anyone out there find any official evidence of ICE having a checkpoint like this in place in the NYC subway system?

  • 3
    This doesn't seem like a very notable claim. The first source updated their claim saying it's not happening, the second has 10 retweets, and the third implies it's not happening at all. It seems like just a rumor that spread and stopped quickly.
    – Giter
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


The events described by the tweets probably didn't happen.

The 1st source you quoted said they contacted officials who debunked the rumor :

FYI - Followed up with some officials. These rumors were unfounded. ICE did not setup a checkpoint in the NYC subways yesterday

Some people in this reddit thread claim they went to check the blockage, but nothing was there.

The ICE twitter account didn't address the issue officially though, neither to confirm nor debunk the rumor.


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