The News4Jax Trust Index team is fact-checking accusations that the government brought in a group of people who immigrated illegally and dropped them off in Green Cove Springs.
A social media post circulating shows some photos in front of a Mexican restaurant. News4Jax has received several emails asking us to look into the claim that there were two federal buses where everyone was removed and then given $100 each.
The person posting this on Facebook says the photos are from Saturday morning. He says buses stopped in front of La Casita Mexican Restaurant in Green Cove Spring and either let, or forced, people out.
The claim is that “the passengers were illegal immigrants” brought “straight from the southern border.”
Further, the post reports a deputy on scene said 12 people “had to be immediately transported to the hospital because they had obvious signs of COVID-19.”
We received a handful of emails linking to the post, with one of them asking: “Haven’t seen anything on any of the news. Could this be true????”
Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook posted on Facebook: “There is a false post floating around reference LaCasita restaurant in Green Cove.”
Her post Sunday goes on to say: “UPDATE- it does appear folks from around the state came in. But this was not an “illegals dump”. It was an advertised event that LaCasita has apparently offered before. So, there were some buses used. The flyer below lists the services that were offered this weekend. Over the past couple of days, The State Department of Health and Mexican Consulate have been working together to get folks vaccinated. This event was pre planned and scheduled. Folks who receive shots have to show proper identification. This was NOT an “illegals dump.” LaCasita has been a long friend of this community.”
The Green Cove Springs Police Department addressed it Sunday on Facebook as well. In reference to the post circulating on social media, the Police Department wrote: “This is not factual.”
The Police Department’s post goes on to say:
“The Mexican Consulate was in Green Cove Springs assisting local Mexicans in obtaining proper identification, documents, COVID testing/vaccines, and other social services. City and County officials were aware of this event. The Consulate performed the function of many other consulates successfully and without incident. The Green Cove Springs Police Department (or any other public safety agency) did not have any calls for service at the location.
“Internet “Trolls” post false information like this for personal and political motives. If anyone has questions or concerns about something happening in our city please feel free to seek answers directly from the Police Department and/or City Hall.”
To get further clarity, News4Jax reached out to the Florida Department of Health in Clay County to ask for an interview.
The health department responded that its health officer wasn’t available and then said: “I can tell you that DOH-Clay was requested to attend a pre-planned event in Green Cove Springs to provide COVID19 Vaccinations.”
After running the claim through the Trust Index, we rate the post as not true.