Donald Trump to Headline Fundraiser Close site of Anti-Immigrant Detest Crime

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 2:43 AM

The Suffolk County Republicans invited Trump to Patchogue, a tiny coastal town in Long Island, where attendees will pay between $150 and $1.000 to hear the party front-runner speak.

Donald Trump, the face of a resurgence in anti-immigrant vitriol, will headline a fundraiser this week just steps from where a Latino man was fatally stabbed in a brutal detest crime in two thousand-eighth.

The Suffolk County Republicans invited Trump to Patchogue, a tiny coastal town in Long Island, where attendees will pay between $150 and $1.000 to hear the party front-runner speak. But local leaders are presently calling on the county GOP to either replace Trump or call off the event entirely, fearing the fundraiser will stoke more fear in a community still recovering from a spate of hate-filled violence.

A gang of teens in the area once made a custom out of attacking Latino immigrants in a late-night sport they'd frequently call "beaner hopping." A series of attacks ultimately turned fatal in two thousand-eighth when the grouping fatally stabbed 37-year-old Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant.

The tragedy exposed a trend of mostly white youths who made a game out of terrorizing local Latinos. But the anti-immigrant sentiment wasn't isolated. Long Island has long grappled with such tension, and the Suffolk Police Dept was accused of widespread racial profiling, prompting the Dept of Justice to step in to allow extra oversight.

Many Latinos declare the immigrant community has since struggled to recover, an effort made all the more challenging with Trump'south persistent anti-immigrant drumbeat on a national scale.

"It was devastating for the whole Latino community. It took a long time for people to recuperate from that," said Eliana Fernandez, an organizer with the immigrant rights grouping Create the Road Action.

The local immigrant community plans to keep vigils and protests exterior the venue of Trump'south event, which will be held just down the Str from where Lucero was slain. His brother, Joselo Lucero, has spoken out against the event, calling Trump a "symbol of detest against my community," raising the fear that the GOP front-runner'south presence may incite more hate.

"To have this kind of event is love a slap in the face for the whole community," Fernandez said.

The NY Times editorial board condemned the Suffolk County Republicans for both inviting Trump and its choice of venue, calling the development a "disgraceful provocation" that threatens to reopen elderly wounds.

Asked whether the decision to invite Trump was appropriate, county GOP chairman John Jay LaValle on Tuesday defended the move and said the party was pleased to host Trump.

"The reality is, this is about free speech," LaValle said on MSNBC. "This is about America. This is the leading Republican presidential candidate, probably the following President of the United States, coming to our community, to speak to our community, to speak to our voters."

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