Posted at: 07/30/2012 7:16 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Sign in Albert Lea Causing Controversy
After posting a picture of the sign to our Facebook page, it's generated over five hundred comments.
That sign is on West Front Street in Albert Lea. The electric sign flashes "catch and release no, deport illegals si."Monica Hernandez has lived across from the building with sign for most her life.
"My mom is white, my dad is Mexican."She is proud of her Mexican heritage and that is why she hates trying to explain the sign to her daughter.
"My daughter asks questions everyday about why it is up, and the only thing I can tell her is that they don't like Mexicans."Hernandez says the sign makes many of her Latino and Hispanic neighbors feel unwelcome.
Jeffrey Jurewicz of Centro Campesino, an organization that works to assist area Latinos, says the sign is offensive since it clearly targets one group."It's directed at Latinos, but undocumented people come from all over. This is a racist sign for that reason, for all you know I could be an undocumented Canadian."
The business that owns the sign is called DIMA corporation. Several attempts to talk with a manager were unsuccessful.Out of the hundreds of comments on our Facebook page there were many that supported the sign.
Steve H said, "I agree 100%...if you are here legally ok...if not... go back where you came from.""They are just exercising their right to freedom of speech. They aren't stating anything offensive, they are just stating their opinion on a very heated matter," said Trevor B.
But Hernandez says the use of Spanish on the sign makes it very clear they are talking about Mexicans. She wants her children to feel welcome and proud of where their roots."It makes the kids feel really crappy about themselves about where they came from. I just hope it comes down soon, I just want it down."
Several groups against the sign are planning a protest.
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