Iowa City Latino community responds to anti-immigration fliers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS2/ FOX 28) — Some residents in Iowa City are angry over flyers encouraging people to report immigrants to law enforcement.

The fliers read “keep Iowa Nice, call ICE,” and it encouraged residents in Iowa City to call the number for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Community leaders said they do not know where the flyers came from, but they first noticed them posted around town over the weekend.

“It’s sort of a perverse inversion of what Iowa nice means,” said Jonathon Muñoz, Chapter President of League of United Latino American Citizens (LULAC) Council 308 in Iowa City. 

The Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project posted a covered version of that flier on Facebook asking residents to help take them down.

“Some people printed them, posted them, and you really have to question the sort of motive of people that would do that,” said Muñoz.

“I think there’s always an element of fear when you know that there’s a group out there, and they’re organized, and they’re directing this sort of hate and anti-immigrant sentiment,” said Immigration Lawyer Dan Vondra.

Supporters of the immigrant community are not necessarily worried this will encourage people to call ICE.

“From the legal perspective, it is just kind of silly. Obviously the people who did this want to get a reaction,” said Vondra. 

Vondra said it is not surprising these fliers are popping up as President Trump continues to fight for border security.

“At some point, is our country going to come to some sort of agreement or compromise on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Vondra. 

Latino community leaders said more education on the roles immigrants play in the community may help.

“That’s what ‘Iowa Nice’ means to me. [It’s] a culture of inclusivity, a culture of mutual recognition,” said Muñoz.

The Iowa City Police Department and City Council were not available Monday to comment on the flier.

Others members of the Latino community plan on releasing their own statement later this week.

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