Fake flyers with the title “Sanctuary City Neighborhood Public Notice,” sprouted in parts of Washington, D.C., on Thursday, urging residents to turn in undocumented neighbors. City officials took to social media and encouraged people to tear them down as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the false flyers were "dangerous and irresponsible."
The leaflets were superimposed on ICE letterhead and detailed offenses for those “harboring, encouraging/inducing, or conspiracy/aiding or abetting” people who are in the country illegally. "If you see something, say something," the flyer stated.
Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote in a Tweet, "Tear it down! DC is a sanctuary city. Clearly the flyer is meant to scare and divide our residents. We won't stand for it. #DCValues."
The mayor said city officials had been in contact with D.C. police and public works employees to have the flyers removed.
An ICE spokesperson said the agency has not posted flyers in the nation’s capital.
“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,” said spokesperson Carissa Cutrell in a statement.
It remains unclear who posted the flyers. D.C. is a sanctuary city, meaning it limits law officers' enforcement of federal immigration laws. D.C. also provides limited purpose driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Halimah Abdullah contributed to this story.