Mayor, of­fi­cials de­bunk anti-im­mi­grant fliers

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY STEPHEN DINAN

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.

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