Mexican flag prompts ‘hate’ mail

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. joined community leaders Thursday to decry a recent torrent of hate mail the city has received in response to its decision to fly the Mexican flag on the New Haven Green in honor of Mexican independence day last week.

At the rally, held by the flagpole on the Green, DeStefano blasted groups like the anti-illegal immigrant Community Watchdog Project for “inundating” his office with “hateful” phone calls and e-mails. He told the crowd of about 20 people from various community groups that New Haven has a long tradition of flying foreign flags for patriotic holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day and Puerto Rican Day — but only the Mexican flag has been singled out for derision, he said.

“This is a simple message about what kind of community we are,” DeStefano said. “We do not tolerate hate.”

In a voicemail message to the News regarding the rally, CWP President Dustin Gold said New Haven’s flag code prohibits the city from flying foreign flags on the same pole as the American flag, as the city did last week; rather, they must be flown side-by-side, on separate flagpoles. At the rally, DeStefano said he is not familiar with the code, but that flags have been flown this way since before he was elected mayor.

During brief remarks at the rally, DeStefano read excerpts from several of the e-mails his office has received. He added that his office has never received such a response to any of the other flags raised on the Green in his tenure.

“This is the United States of America. We don’t want Spanish. We don’t want Mexican flags,” read one e-mail provided to the media by the mayor’s office.

“Get rid … of the Mexican flag and fly it in Mexico if you like so much [sic],” said another. “Kick them out and you go with them.”

Among the e-mails provided by City Hall was one from Gold to his supporters encouraging them to call the mayor to protest the Mexican flag. The CWP has been a vocal opponent of the Elm City Resident Card, which allows all city residents — regardless of immigration status — access to city services, like debit accounts and social services.

New Haven residents at the rally, however, said they do not sympathize with the e-mails.

“I was here on Saturday,” Father James Manship of New Haven’s St. Rose of Lima Church said before the rally, in reference to New Haven Family Day, where the city promoted the ID card. “There was a beautiful celebration going on, with families and people feeling connected, while outside, there were hate groups spewing vitriol. New Haven is much better than this. They protest against the foreign, but to us, their hateful actions are foreign.”

Added city resident Suzette Franco-Camacho: “New Haven is a place that celebrates diversity.”

DeStefano echoed those sentiments in his speech and a press release, saying that New Haven is “welcoming” and should not be divided across “racial, ethnic or socio-economic lines.”

David Schaefer, on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League, emphasized in his speech that the United States is a nation of immigrants, and residents should embrace different backgrounds.

“We must gather to condemn intolerance,” Schaefer said. “Manifestations of hate are not proper ways of expressing opinions.”

When asked how the city has responded to the phone calls, City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said she tried to explain to callers that the Mexican flag is flown in honor of its independence day in accordance with New Haven’s policy of celebrating diversity. She said she does not respond to the e-mails.

But despite all the mail, New Haven residents interviewed at the rally said they feel strongly that their city is tolerant of immigrants and diversity. They said they are optimistic that their city is not an anti-immigrant one.

“New Haven is an accepting place,” Barbara Tinney, a lifelong New Haven resident, said after the rally. “Although we did see intolerance displayed here last Saturday, on the whole, our citizens are not so small-minded. We have a long history of embracing different cultures.”

Comments

  • student

    Should Irish and Italian flags be banned too? Dustin Gold is the biggest idiot in Connecticut.

  • PortTabacco

    Let's face it. The Mexican Flag is not popular in the United States.
    Anyone flying this foreign flag on U.S. soil is probably going to receive some flack about it.
    Illegal immigration from Mexico is a hot button issue that is going to become even hotter.
    This is the United States not Mexico.

  • Mike Mcgarry

    This piece is a real riot. Haven't laughed so hard in years. So it is "hate" to oppose the invasion of our country and the Fifth Columnists who support the invaders. The funniest part was DeStefano saying he won't tolerate so-called "hate." Oh, really, well just what would this clown do about it? Any time he wants to meet me in the alley of his choice, I'll be
    there, but this traitor better be a bad arse because, I am!

  • GARY ROSE

    NO AMERICAN CITY SHOULD BE DISPLAYING A MEXICAN FLAG>>WITH ALL THE DISRESPECT MEXICO AND ITS ILLEGAL INVATION BEING PROMOTED BY THE MEXICAN GOVERMENT AND CATHOLIC CHURCH.THEY COME THEY MARCH CURSE AMERICA AND AMERICANS BURN THE AMERICAN FLAG>>AND THEN YOU OR SOMEBODY LIKE YOU WANTS TO FLY THE MEXICAN FLAG AND CELEBRATE THEIR WAR WHY WITH THIS KIND OF DISRESPECT??WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THAT INCLUDES ALL RACES THAT WANT TO BE REAL AMERICANS>>SHOULD BE CELEBRATING THE MEXICAN AMERICAN WAR>THIS IS AMERICA LETS REMEMBER THAT>>THANK YOU> JUST AN AMERICAN

  • Ray

    Enforcing our Immigration Laws and Securing National Borders are not partisan, divisive, or polarizing issues! In current polls vast majority of United States Citizens want our Immigration Laws Enforced and our National Borders Secured. Politicians without their own or their Elitist Political “Contributor’s” self serving agenda support their citizens and not their Elitist “Contributors”.

    Just follow the money my friend. The "political contributors" will get their "cheap labor" and not have to furnish any "benefits" because all the "benefits" for the ILLEGALS will be furnished by the taxpayers enforced and implemented by "our politicians" and their "men"(see Johnny Sutton)!!

    The point is not if they are “good or hardworking people”, the point being they are here illegally! They do drive down our wages and take from the United States treasury for the benefit of the very few who privatize the profits for themselves at the expense of the vast majority.

    Once again the politicians and their contributors consider United States citizens only as “units of labor” and the sooner we become a Third World Country the better for their “bottom line”! Our elitist politicians and their elitist political contributors will not be happy until they transform the United States into a Third World Country for most of our citizens while furnishing the Chamber of Commerce and all their Elitist Special Interest Groups with their supply of “cheap labor”. The politicians and their Elitist Contributors are “socializing benefits” to the ILLEGALS on the backs of United States citizens through our assets such as the Education System, Social Security, and Health Care not to mention our National Security while "privatizing" the profits for themselves!

  • Donald.

    Mayor DeSefano is a traitor to his city and this country. Allowing the Mexican flag to fly on city property is nothing less than a sign of submission to the Mexican Reconquistas who wish to destroy this nation by reducing it to the the corrupt, poverty-stricken, crime-ridden and dysfunctional country known as Mexico. DeStefano as a ultra-leftist liberal, is either ideologically blinded or too stupid to see that by illegally harboring, aiding and abetting these invaders he is actively destroying this nation. God bless America, the devil take Mayor Desefano.

  • Chantal

    Interesting that the mayor's "supporters" represent the most pro-illegal groups.

    My unscientific studies conclude that the mayors of towns promoting illegal aliens are the very same who would be defeated in a landslide if the illegal aliens and the special interest groups that support them were prohibited from voting.
    On a positive note I've seen many people of DeStefano's ilk recently fall from power and serve as examples of "What goes around comes around." Can't wait to include him in my list.

  • Proud American

    Some of you people crack me up… I've had an American flag flying in my room since I was a toddler. I've taken that flag with me and flew it proudly when I lived abroad in a few other places - Australia, the UK and China specifically. The Australians, with their characteristic good nature, jokingly gave me a hard time. In the UK, nobody made disparaging remarks about it, and often times it turned our conversations to politics - and the things we, as a country, do very well. And China? Everyone was so freakin' gracious that it was almost unreal, though admittedly not many saw the flag as I wasn't there long and didn't have many Chinese come visit. I bet they'd have been just fine with it.

    … Now, back here, I fly my American flag in my room as always. And, slightly lower, I also fly an Australian flag, a Scottish flag, a Chinese flag and, for friends, a German and Korean flag. I fly them because I admire the warmth and hospitality I've been fortunate enough to experience from the wonderful people of those countries, and I'm damn proud of it. We don't like it very much here when someone burns our flag in, say, the middle east, do we? No, because we would like a little respect shown, even when it's not in 'our' country. So show a little respect back to people who, though in 'our' country, wish to celebrate their heritage one day out of the year by flying their flag in this great city of ours. And why am I putting 'our' in quotes? Because I bet a whole bunch of the Mexicans in question have lived here for quite a while - possible in this city longer than many of you have. Maybe it's more their city than yours, then.

    As for me, maybe I'll go get a Mexican flag now too, to show a little support.

  • thanks, ydn: new haven resident

    What is so excellent about this forum is that is shows these anti-immigrant fanatics for who they are. Behind all of their nice language in public about illegal aliens being modern day slaves, about supporting legal immigration, and about wanting to crack down on uncrupulous employers, there is one simple fact:

    A bunch of racist, white-supremacist individuals, deluded by lunatic notions of invasions, re-conquests, and the impending doom of America. I seem to remember similar people saying similar things about Asian, Jewish, and Eastern European immigrants when they came at other points in history.

  • disgusted by these responses

    All of this hateful bullshit seems to imply that all of the Mexican people in this city are here illegally. What kind of sick person feels offended by a Mexican flag on the green, honoring their independence day? Challenging the mayor to a fight? Seriously?
    You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Anonymous

    When is going to be our Mexican Independence Day?

  • Anonymous

    Under most circumstances, I wouldn't use such terms as treason, traitor, and seditionist, but Mayor DeStefano is KNOWINGLY violating the Constitution of the United States, is KNOWINGLY stealing money from the taxpayers to aid and abet the largest invasion in world history. That, ladies and gentlemen, by definition is treason. He is the one who took the oath. As an honorably discharged combat veteran, I am outraged at his treachery. I certainly fought for his right to be a vocal idiot, but he shames and disrespects everything sacred when he betrays the trust of the people… that would be "We the People." Remember them, Mayor DeStefano? So help you God, you said.
    According to the U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 3, this guy isn't even eligible to run for dog-catcher.

    Jeff Lewis
    National Director
    FIRE Coalition
    Jeff@firecoalition.com

  • Anonymous

    Obama has already repeated that their will be a path to citizenship, for lawbreakers..AMNESTY! With the bailout of mega investment business and banks on the front burner.

    Nobody dare mention, that illegal immigration is implicated in this financial catastrophe?

    We already know that our Politicians, Governors, Mayors an the retinue of elected officials genuflect to this corrupt foreign government. Why would not communities flooded with cheap foreign labor, publicize their regrettable violation of their oath of office fly this obnoxious flag, that has stained America with a incessant crime rate.

    No wonder this flag has become a symbol of a third country mentality, when we allow our tainted political figures to inherit a monolithic economic meltdown attributed somewhat to illegal immigration. Why do 80 percent of taxpayers disdain from recognising this flag. Because it reflects the astronomical costs of supporting illegal alien families, the growing problem of carnage on our roads and streets.

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.1258/pub_detail.asp Then their is corruption in the Democratic party, to stop an enforcement law being passed. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,428082,00.html

    Please contact your Senator through the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask him/her to pressure Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow a vote this week on H.R. 6633, the House-passed E-Verify reauthorization bill. The E-Verify program will die in November if Congress does not reauthorize it before Members leave for the election recess on Friday.

    IT’S YOUR FAMILIES FUTURE. DEPORTATION OR OVERPOPULATION. IF WE DON’T STOP IT NOW, THEY WILL KEEP COMING..

    JOIN 756.000 other American patriots at http://www.numbersusa.com , to stop the travesty of our immigration laws. Learn about Immigration governmental corruption at http://www.judicialwatch.org

    PLEASE PASS ON THIS URGENT MESSAGE

  • joazinha

    The actions of people such as Mayor John deStefano sometimes give cause to wonder whether this country is AMERICAN or FOREIGN territory!

  • oh jeff

    You have no constitutionally literacy. Please take your white-supremacy elsewhere, and stop sullingly the great words of the Constitution. Please?

    No one is stealing money. If anything, immigrants are adding extra cash to city and state and national coffers, because they pay taxes without receiving most benefits. And please stop too with this "aiding" and "abetting" nonsense — only in your warped white supremacy are immigrants "enemies."

    Immigration is what makes this country great, and illegal immigration … it's a civil offense, like getting a parking ticket. I hope to God you've never been pulled over, because then, anyone offering you anything just might be aiding and abetting the worst kind of criminal.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing wrong with raising the Mexican flag (no different from raising the flags of other nationalities), but illegal immigration is wrong. They take money from the government and don't pay any taxes. It makes legal immigrants look bad! If they want to come here, they should have entered legally. They're breaking the law and should be treated accordingly.

  • Citizens Against Jaywalking Criminals (CAJC&#4

    … And another thing, all you people who jaywalk are BREAKING THE LAW! Good, decent law-abiding citizens go to proper cross-walks, often taking more time to get to them, and you BLATANTLY DISRESPECT THIS COUNTRY'S LAWS by CROSSING THE STREET AT NON-DESIGNATED PLACES!

    Since we all know time is money, you're saving time and thus CHEATING GOOD LAW ABIDING CITIZENS OUT OF MONEY. I, for one, will not welcome any jaywalking overlords to this country.

  • Yale 08

    As a conservative, both socially and fiscally, I find these anti-immigrant conservatives completely bizarre.

    The immigrants are doing the work that too many Americans seem unwilling to do.

    So they took your job? Work harder and beat them out. Competition is essential in a market economy.

    So they work below minimum wage? Go work for less and you will get their jobs. Since when is strict belief in the minimum wage a conservative value? You get paid what your labor is worth.

    Legal arguments fail in this debate as well. The legality of their immigration is simply a matter of arbitrary legislation. There is nothing inherently wrong with immigrants crossing our border.

  • was that a motion?

    for the creation OF A NEW GROUP?!

    CAJC works, POSSIBLY, or what about just the CWP?!?!?!

    Community jay-Walk-dog Project

    evil THRIVES when blue jays walk, and when MEN DO NOTHING but WATCH!

  • JE 2010

    The Yale Daily News should be disgusted with itself. It goes through the entire article as if there is no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.

    So I'll lay out the distinction for you: I'm an "immigrant" to this country. I came here legally, from Central America. I'm on the way to becoming a citizen. I have never felt unwelcome in this country, and I've lived in South Texas. The guy who needs New Haven to issue fake ID cards so he can avoid getting shipped back to his home country is NOT simply an "immigrant". He is an "illegal immigrant".

    Acting as though opposition to illegal immigration is necessarily predicated on racism is an egregiously ridiculous way to dismiss the legitimate concerns of a substantial portion of the American populace.

  • @ JE 2010

    Seriously? Not once felt unwelcomed? I'm from the same region you claim you're from (South Texas) and feeling unwelcomed is something very normal for me in many parts of this country because what I've looked like, regardless of the fact that I am a US citizen, born in the USA.

    That said, don't deny the fact that immigration has been lumped up in sum between legal and illegal. Don't deny to me that there are some pretty fucking racist bastards running these "anti-immigration" groups.

    The YDN did not have to differentiate. The Mexican flag has nothing to do with legal or illegal immigrants. It has everything to do with celebrating the heritage that is important to many "legal" New Haven citizens.

  • Dustin W. Gold

    Let me set the record straight about CWP. There are groups that are anti-immigrant - we are not one of them.

    Our organization has many immigrant members including my grandmother who came here from Japan.

    The truth regrading the Mexican flag was quoted accurately by WTNH - the way that the Mexican flag was displayed is disrespectful to our flag and their flag.

    Remember Mr. DeStefano, the truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

  • BVN

    #1) To those who treat this issue lightly, ABC News' "Nightline" did a report on the nightly illegal immigration battle at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Very violent:

    Title: "Clash on the Border"
    Date: 02/29/2008
    Publisher: ABC News
    Link: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=436364

    #2) In the story below, just imagine how many illegal immigrants could be considered criminals in their home countries (whether for burglary, rape, or homicide) and yet are allowed to be living in this country without fear of persecution or even a simple ID verification.

    Title: Ike evacuation: 'Hurricane amnesty' to help Gulf's illegal immigrants
    Author: Patrik Jonsson
    Publisher: ABC News
    Link: http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5783868

    'As up to a million Texans flee the wind and rain of hurricane Ike, the federal government has imposed a "hurricane amnesty" for the state's estimated 1.6 million unauthorized immigrants.

    That means no ID checks at shelters, no border patrol checkpoints, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents scouring the highways, says Dan Martinez, spokesman for the Austin-based Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He calls the massive evacuation a "humanitarian mission" to save lives ahead of what may become an 18-foot storm surge pushing against the vulnerable continental shelf of Texas. '

    #3) To the author of Response #18, who wrote:
    "Legal arguments fail in this debate as well. The legality of their immigration is simply a matter of arbitrary legislation. There is nothing inherently wrong with immigrants crossing our border."

    The reason for emigrating from Mexico is due to corrupt Mexican local governments and police who treat their country's laws as "arbitrary legislation" they wish not to enforce; hence, there is lawlessness that leads to economic instability and keeps citizens perpetually poor and deters investments into businesses. The United States is a democracy: its citizens are governed by laws of its own choosing.

    In San Francisco, California, a disregard for "arbitrary legislation" has made it a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants: Illegal immigrants who are under 18 and have committed a crime are never reported to the federal government. The result has been a mess.

    Title: Hundreds of adult illegals also got sanctuary
    Authors: Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross
    Date: September 17, 2008
    Publisher: San Francisco Chronicle
    Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/16/BADS12V1KS.DTL

    "It turns out that San Francisco wasn't shielding just juvenile illegal immigrants from deportation if they committed crimes….City Hall officials have discovered that there are 372 convicted adult felons on probation in the city who weren't reported to the feds. Last month, probation officers began spending nights and weekends going over the files of 6,500 felons who are on probation in the city. About 700 were found to be noncitizens, and 1,200 more had a blank space next to the immigration status question. Further review found that 372 were probably in the country illegally or had some type of problem with their immigration status….The capper came when the [San Francisco Chronicle] reported that Edwin Ramos, an alleged illegal immigrant suspected of killing a father and his two sons on an Excelsior District street, had a juvenile record for assault and robbery but was never turned over to the feds."

    #4) Illegal immigrants are now demanding the rights to financial aid for colleges in the U.S.:

    Title: Students March for Dream Act
    Publisher: The Daily Cal (student daily paper of the University of California, Berkeley)
    Link: http://www.dailycal.org/article/102811/students_march_for_dream_act

  • Bobby

    He's not for real. John DeStefano Jr., has not gotten it through his thick skull yet, or simply doesn't care, that millions of Americans are sick and tired of seeing this flag. They were sick of seeing it in the Gran Marches of illegal aliens a couple years ago, they were sick of seeing it above the American flag, at a California post office, a California high school, and other public flagpoles in Arizona, Texas, etc. At best the Mayor has bad taste, at worst, he is a provocateur.

  • Anonymous

    This is rubbish. It is an insult to the highly-qualified candidates who happen to be women or minorities.

  • Anonymous

    So all legal Mexican immigrants and second- or third-generation Mexican-Americans have to hide their flag and forgo their day of the year, but the Irish and Italians get their flags and parades on St. Patty's Day and Columbus Day?

    The flag and the celebration have nothing to do with illegal immigration. Choosing this day as a battleground for illegal immigration makes you seem xenophobic at best, and racist at worst. Mexican-Americans deserve their day like any other ethnic group in this country, save your vitriol for other days and events that actually have something to do with illegal immigration.

    Also, to the guy who says illegal immigrants take government money and don't pay taxes--it's the other way around. Illegal immigrants pay payroll taxes and property taxes, but can't access social programs like welfare. Whatever your opinions on the enforcement of immigration law, don't stoop to lies and misinformation. You can make perfectly valid arguments without them.

  • Anonymous

    Mexican? Irrelevant.

    Immigrant? Also irrelevant.

    Illegal? That's what matters.

  • Hector

    Luis M. Says "Illegal immigrants pay payroll taxes and property taxes, but can't access social programs like welfare."
    That is a bunch of B.S. next time tax time comes around, ask them how much of a refund they are getting from the Federal Govt, the answer will almost always be 100%

  • Mike

    I don't understand any of the people below me. This has absolutely nothing to do with immigration whatsoever! This is an issue about another flag flying in the US that's all. The people who are mad about it are just racist pieces of crap who can't stand the fact that there are other people who look different than them. Common, we are not living in the Jim Crow Law years anymore! The US has flown many flags for different celebrations. I don't get why when someone brings up a Mexican person the first thought is "THEY'RE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS"! I'm an American that has Mexican roots but all you losers call me a wetback and an immigrnat. I bet you guys that I have been in the US longer than any of you. I have been here all my life and so have my parents my, siblings, and all my family!