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SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered the removal of the fake U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) flyers that were posted around the city Thursday, calling it an effort to divide residents in the nation’s capital.
Tear it down!
DC is a sanctuary city.
Clearly the flyer is meant to scare and divide our residents.
— MurielBowser (@MurielBowser) June 1, 2017
Bowser confirmed via Twitter that she is working with the D.C. Police Department and the Department of Public Works to remove the official-looking flyers that show a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo beside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement written in large block letters.
The flyer reads, “Sanctuary City Neighborhood Public Notice,” and goes into claims about possible penalties for supporting illegal immigration.
Balkans Bohemia, who posted an original image of the flyer that the Mayor retweeted, told ABC News that he first spotted the flyers a little after 9.a.m Thursday local time on his walk to the train.
“I saw about six posters within a block and a half,” Bohemia said. “Some were put up with tape and others with glue. Some of the ones hung with glue are still up because they are proving difficult to get off the pole.”
Bohemia said he knew the posters were fake when he spotted a D.C. government logo at the bottom corner and said “anyone who knows D.C. government knows they are a pro-sanctuary city.”
ICE immediately responded to the fake flyers via Twitter disowning the flyers.
“The immigration enforcement notices appearing across Washington, D.C., were not issued or sanctioned by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” spokesperson Carissa Cutrell told ABC News.
“Just like false reports of immigration checkpoints or random sweeps, notices like these are dangerous and irresponsible. 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,” Cutrell added.
The D.C. Police Department tweeted that they have a long-standing policy that prohibits officers from asking individuals about citizenship or residency status and stated “our immigrant community is a vital part of the fabric of our city.”
There is no word yet on who is responsible for posting the flyers or exactly how many have been found in the city.
Mayor Bowser used the hashtag #DCValues when tweeting about the incident and confirmed that all D.C. residents are to be treated with respect regardless of immigration status.
And a reminder that we respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status. Washington, DC remains a sanctuary city. #DCvalues [3/3]
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 1, 2017
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