Are buses and planes full of undocumented immigrants being dropped off in eastern Idaho? Here's what we found - East Idaho News

Are buses and planes full of undocumented immigrants being dropped off in eastern Idaho? Here’s what we found

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IDAHO FALLS – After many news tips, social media posts and questions, we decided to look into the question many are wondering: are buses or airplanes full of immigrants being dropped off in cities across eastern Idaho?

The short answer – no.

Numerous social media posts have popped up online in the last few weeks claiming that buses and planes are pulling into cities like Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Shelley and Rexburg. The posts say they’re dropping off hundreds of undocumented immigrants and driving or flying away.

After reaching out to law enforcement officials across eastern Idaho, not one said they were aware of any credible proof or reports of immigrants showing up.

“We have homeless people, and we have transients and things like that, but I think we would notice if we had a busload of people who were wandering aimlessly with no resources,” says Bonneville County Sheriff Sgt. Bryan Lovell. “I don’t think it’s happening here.”

Idaho Falls Police Department spokeswoman Jessica Clements also denied any knowledge of this type of activity.

“I’m not aware of anything like that happening in city limits,” says Clements.

City of Shelley spokesman Wes Hayman corroborated the previous notions, saying he has never seen anything like what social media is claiming.

“There has been nothing like that that we are aware of it. This is the first I’m hearing of that in Shelley. I’ve heard rumors of it happening in other jurisdictions and places,” says Hayman. “But I’ve never looked to confirm it, because it’s in other jurisdictions and I’ve never seen anything.”

Homeland Security Agent Tyler Hatch denied the claims as well, saying he hasn’t seen or heard anything about undocumented immigrants being dropped off in the area.

“I hadn’t heard anything or know of any bus loads coming up this way,” says Hatch.

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The photos posted online are usually dark, blurry depictions of large buses in parking lots or fields, or airplanes at unidentifiable airports, with numerous anonymous people exiting buses and planes. There is no credible proof to corroborate where and when the photos were taken or that undocumented immigrants were on the vehicles.

“We have not had any reports of it. I’ve seen (posts) personally on Facebook, but that’s all I’ve seen,” says Jefferson County spokeswoman Jennifer Fullmer. “We have had no reports of that at all.”

On Wednesday, Halli Stone, a former local radio host and conservative political activist, took to the Nextdoor app claiming that Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, along with the City Council, agreed to accept “large numbers of people here for $18,000 a piece.”

Nextdoor post
Halli Stone’s post on the Nextdoor app.

The post was later deleted. contacted Stone to ask for proof of her claims, and she was not able to show us any. She did provide a statement, saying she has questions about what “high density housing” in Idaho Falls is for.

“The purpose of my post was to see if anyone had seen anything to support this. I’ve had several interesting reports of other activity in Idaho Falls similar to this. Many are asking what all the high density housing is for,” said Stone. “Some think it is to house either illegal immigrants or massive numbers of refugees. Idaho Falls residents want answers.”

There is no evidence that high-density housing was made to accompany undocumented immigrants or refugees, and Idaho has been consistently labeled a one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S. for the last seven years based on percentage increase of population.

RELATED | Idaho again among fast-growing states in population, but the growth is slowing down

Another Facebook user posted a similar claim stirring up a lot of conversation online among locals, stating that Casper and California Governor Gavin Newsom are “facilitating an illegal alien camp” in Idaho Falls. This post has also since been deleted.

Facebook post

The city of Idaho Falls responded to the claims on Facebook and in a statement to, said the claims are false and dangerous.

“The city of Idaho Falls does not have any program or policy to bring people to the city illegally. Any information out there saying such is false. It’s critical we ensure accurate information prevails and rumors are dispelled swiftly,” says city of Idaho Falls spokesman Eric Grossarth. “Misinformation can lead to confusion, unnecessary panic, and even harm to individuals and communities. As such, it is incumbent upon all of us to uphold the truth and promote transparency.”

Although this doesn’t seem to be happening in eastern Idaho, it is happening in other parts of the country.

In April 2022, Texas announced it would begin sending migrants to cities like Washington, DC, New York City, and Chicago.

RELATED | What to know about Texas’ efforts to bus migrants to other states

This was in response to the Biden administration saying it would lift Title 42, a pandemic-era border rule implemented by former President Donald Trump that effectively blocked most migrants from entering the US and seeking asylum.

According to a news release from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas has transported more than 100,000 migrants so far, the bulk of which were sent to New York City and Chicago.

As for why people post false claims about immigration in eastern Idaho, Madison County Sheriff Ron Ball says he believes people do it to push an agenda.

“It doesn’t look like they’re even here. They’re not in Rexburg and I’ve never heard anybody here saying there was a bus that dropped off a bunch of immigrants,” says Ball. “I think people post it to get people worked up about a certain cause they believe in. Social media is one of those outlets that can reach out to so many people, and it’s a really effective way of getting their agenda out there.”

Ball says to be skeptical about posts on social media and reminds the public to seek out the facts before spreading information.

“Like a lot of stuff on social media, you have to take some of that with a little bit of a grain of salt,” says Ball. “I’ve never seen, nor have I heard, from anybody in Madison County that there has been a bus that has showed up dropping illegal immigrants off.”