Mayor, officials debunk anti-immigrant fliers
Government officials lashed out Thursday against the perpetrator who posted notices in downtown Washington, D.C., urging residents to report suspected illegal immigrants, saying they were “dangerous” fakes.
“Tear it down!” Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted as reports of the fliers trickled in. “DC is a sanctuary city. Clearly the flier is meant to scare and divide our residents.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency that the fliers claimed to be from, also quickly shot down the fliers’ authenticity, saying it’s not something they did and calling it was counterproductive.
“Just like false reports of immigration checkpoints or random sweeps, notices like these are dangerous and irresponsible,” an agency spokeswoman said. “Any person who actively incites panic or fear of law enforcement is doing a disservice to the community, endangering public safety and the very people they claim to support and represent.”
The District declines to fully cooperate with federal immigration agents, earning it the moniker of a sanctuary city from enforcement advocates. The mayor eagerly embraces that title.
Sanctuaries argue that if they cooperate, it will break the trust they’ve built with immigration communities.
Federal officials, including the previous Obama administration, instead say that shielding illegal immigrants and refusing to cooperate puts more dangerous criminals out in communities.
The new fliers that popped up Thursday have the logo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws in the interior of the country. The fliers list phone numbers for both ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the border agency.
The fliers urge residents to report illegal activity, including “illegal aliens.” The fliers also warn against “aiding or abetting” illegal immigrants.
“Please know that these are not real,” Miss Bowser tweeted.