IOWA CITY, Iowa - (CBS2/Fox28) — Pro-immigration groups are angry over some controversial fliers that were posted in downtown Iowa City, urging people to "Keep Iowa Nice, Call ICE." The fliers listed the number for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
One immigrants rights group, the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, is responding with fliers of their own. Mimicking the original look and wording of the anti-immigration sentiments, the group's flier reads, "Keep Iowa Nice, Abolish ICE."
The fliers have been posted on streets poles and kiosks around the downtown area; though many people said they hadn't seen either flier, one visitor from Des Moines was shocked to hear about the sign debate.
"I had a visceral reaction," Jennifer Flemming said. "It just makes me sad when we're at the point people have to put up competing fliers on such a topic. You know, it's kind of upsetting."
The original anti-immigration fliers were put up anonymously, but the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project decried the attempt to have people turn in undocumented immigrants.
"We believe anyone who would purposefully expose a member of their community to this harm is complicit in the ongoing human rights violations of U.S. immigration enforcement," their written statement says. In that statement, they also demanded Iowa City officials release a public statement "reaffirming our city's commitment to being a safe and welcoming place for immigrants."
The Iowa City Police Department says they took an initial informational report on the anti-immigration fliers, but there is no crime to investigate. They released a statement regarding the fliers:
"Although this type of language may be considered offensive, unwelcoming, and goes against our values as an inclusive community, it is protected by the first amendment and does not meet the definition of a hate crime."
Our original report on the anti-immigration fliers: https://cbs2iowa.com/news/local/iowa-city-latino-community-responds-to-anti-immigration-fliers