Staten Island Focus: Hate Crimes on the Rise
Since April there have been 10 reported incidents of violence against Hispanic immigrants on Staten Island, a borough of New York City.
The attacks have all occurred on the island's North Shore, principally in the community of Port Richmond.
The most recent attack came on Saturday, when an 18-year-old student was beaten and robbed by a group of young African-American men while on his way home from working at a late-night restaurant...
Today the fastest growing minority group in Port Richmond is Mexican.
Mexico's Consul General in New York, Ruben Beltran, says he is "angry and frustrated" at the string of attacks.
Earlier this week, he sent a consular representative to support Mexican immigrants in the neighbourhood.
"We are travelling around Port Richmond to take stock of what's happening and also to let them know that the consulate is here," he said.
Not all of the Hispanic members of the community are Mexican, and others are also feeling threatened.
Juan Paz, a restaurant worker from Guatemala, has lived in the area for more than a decade. He says things have never been this bad before.
"It's very dangerous now. When I come from work I have to be very careful," he says.
I would have thought New Yorkers would be among the last to jump on the racism bandwagon that has swept the nation...but sadly we are susceptible to it here too.
This week City Council member Debi Rose held a press conference to announce a ten point plan to end these hate crimes on Staten Island. Here are videos of that press conference:
Let's hope Staten Island comes to its senses. And let's hope this kind of bullshit doesn't spread to the rest of NYC.