Federal immigration authorities said they did not circulate or issue notices posted Thursday in the Washington, DC, area asking the public to report undocumented immigrants.
The notices, which feature the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) logo at the top, state that it is a federal offense to harbor, encourage, or help an undocumented immigrant remain in the US.
“If you see something, say something,” the poster states. “If you would like to report illegal aliens, please call Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
The poster, titled “Sanctuary City Neighborhood Public Notice,” provides numbers to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.
“Just like false reports of immigration checkpoints or random sweeps, notices like these are dangerous and irresponsible,” Carissa Cutrell, spokeswoman for ICE, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “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.”
On Twitter, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser also said the signs aren’t real and has been in contact with the police department and DC Department of Public Works to have them removed.
Kevin Donahue, DC deputy mayor for public safety and justice, also asked residents on Twitter to tear them down and throw them away.