Fake posters designed to look like they came from Immigration and Customs Enforcement—or ICE—were plastered around Southwest Washington early Thursday morning.
The flyers tell people it’s a crime to protect illegal immigrants and lists a hotline number to call in tips.
ICE tweeted out that the posters are fake and did not come from the agency.
"It think it's sort of terrorism by vandalism, you know. It's clearly not real but it's meant to make people afraid. It's meant to make people feel unconformable in their neighborhood,” said Richard Byrne. He found at least six fliers on his way to the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station Thursday morning.
Sobering is what he called it. So he tweeted it out to make sure others saw what was going on.
ICE responded online and to us saying:
“… 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."
"Seeing something like this kind of throws me off, but I do believe in the people in this neighborhood I know that they believe in the right thing really,” said Maz Miah. Miah told WUSA 9 his parents came from Bangladesh. He also says he's never dealt with anything like this in person before.
"People have been trying to take them down and I think that effort's going to continue,” said Byrne with a smile.
The Metropolitan Police Department added that it has a longstanding policy banning officers from asking residents about their their citizenship status.
The flyers were found near L'Enfant Plaza. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser urged residents to tear them down and reminded residents that Washington remains a sanctuary city.
“We respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status,” Mayor Bowser wrote on Twitter.
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