Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered the removal of fake U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fliers that were posted around the city Thursday, which the mayor said was an effort to divide residents in the nation's capital.
Bowser confirmed via Twitter that she is working with the city's police and public works departments to remove the official-looking fliers, which show a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo beside the words "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement" written in large block letters.
The flier 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 flier that the mayor retweeted, told ABC News that he first spotted the fliers 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 Washington, D.C., government logo at the bottom corner. "Anyone who knows D.C. government knows they are a pro-sanctuary city," Bohemia said.
Federal immigration authorities responded to the fake fliers on Twitter.
“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.
Washington's Metropolitan Police Department tweeted that it has a longstanding policy prohibiting 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 fliers or exactly how many have been found in the city.
Mayor Bowser tweeted about the incident using the hashtag #DCValues, offering "a reminder that we respect all DC residents no matter their 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