An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office director from San Francisco apologized for a meme he shared on social media that was seen by many as offensive to Muslim women, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The director, David Jennings, posted a picture on LinkedIn several months ago that showed three large umbrellas that supposedly resembled women in traditional Islamic attire accompanied by text saying: "I spent 30 minutes talking to them to learn more about their culture until the barman told me they were umbrellas."
“I was trying to use lessons from my terrorism mentor Brig Barker. Guess I need more work,” Jennings wrote in a caption posted with the picture.
The director later said he was not trying to offend anyone and was instead trying to “poke fun” at himself.
"The post was directed to a former co-worker and instructor in Arab culture and was meant to poke fun at myself and use me as an example to show that everyone can and should keep learning about people from different cultures, including people like me with extensive experience working with different cultures and traditions," Jennings said in a statement provided to multiple news outlets, including the Chronicle.
According to the newspaper, another ICE agent “liked” the post. Jennings deleted the post after the Chronicle inquired about it.
"It was not my intention to offend anyone and I hope that the explanation of my intent assuages any hurt the post may have inadvertently caused. I have removed the post to avoid anyone else being offended," Jennings said.
The meme controversy comes after ICE agents arrested more than 150 people in a three-day sweep in northern California last month.
The Trump administration also recently sued California for its sanctuary laws that provide protections for undocumented immigrants.