With heightened police presence and weekly community rallies, Staten Island residents seem to be trying everything to ease the tensions that have arisen from a streak of hate crimes in the borough. Unfortunately, the tensions are still there. The Staten Island Advance chronicles some of the locals' feelings about the incidents:

  • "I don't condone the violence, but I don't think this is the solution...We need jobs. It's an economic thing and it's an immigration thing. The Mexicans are illegal and everyone knows it."
  • "There were a couple of incidents and everyone has made it all racial. The problem is, when they get drunk, they get very arrogant. They get fresh with women in the neighborhood, white women and black women. They try to buy women; they look at them like whores."
  • "The Mexicans get intoxicated and they start trouble. I was going to the store and one of them came from the bar and said he wanted to have sex with me for money."
  • "You see the cops all around and you always feel like there is something going on. You feel safer, but the tension is there. The Mexicans see this as their territory, and the blacks won't allow it."
  • "At night, the place is quieter than before when people were always running around, screaming and beating people up. But people are scared, too. Maybe the police will get them deported or arrested."

Despite the hate, Liz Wheeler, who helps run the Community Health Action van says her Mexican clients are "very sweet people." The Port Richmond area has seen 11 investigations over bias attacks so far this year, though not all have been classified as hate crimes.