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Anti-immigrant vandalism forces Apex man from home

Posted March 4

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— Jose Ramirez has lived quietly in Apex for five years, but he's now staying with friends and seeking a new home after finding racist comments spray-painted on his house last month.

Ramirez was at a party with friends on Feb. 20, and when he got home at about 3 a.m. the following morning, he saw "illegal Mexican" and other derogatory comments sprayed in large black letters across the front of his house on White Swan Court.

He said he fears for his own safety and had to get a prescription to help him cope with anxiety. He even refuses to allow his 9-year-old daughter to visit the house, preferring she stay with her mother to avoid seeing the vandalism.

"I find it disgusting that people would do that type of thing," neighbor Randy Utt said, noting that no one in the neighborhood has ever had a problem with Ramirez.

Will Porter Saenz, communications coordinator for El Pueblo, a Latino advocacy group, said the vandalism is not a reflection of the entire community, where many are welcoming.

"This obviously goes against our values as a country and as a community," Saenz said.

Still, Saenz said, the increased political rhetoric over immigration in recent months both in North Carolina and nationally has ratcheted up fear among local immigrants.

"These people are afraid to go to the grocery store, take their kids to school, do anything that any of us take for granted," he said. "They look through the (online) comments and they see things like, 'Go back to your country,' 'What are you doing here?' 'You’re taking my job.' All these things that have been refuted consistently, but now we’re seeing even more frequently."

The Wake County Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism.


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  • RB Redmond Mar 9, 2016
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    No, but it doesn't say he's a native American or is a legal immigrant either. That leaves everything open to debate, and negative comments. If his citizenship had been revealed in the story, there would have been no grounds for negative comments here.

  • RB Redmond Mar 9, 2016
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    Is he illegal? I don't see that mentioned in the story. There are ignorant people though who think everyone with a Hispanic last name are here illegally when many of them have had ancestors in this country for hundreds of years.

  • Ben Wellington Mar 7, 2016
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    If he is here illegally I hope he gets deported, these people are taking our lower class's jobs and are sucking in our tax dollars. 12 million illegals here are devastating our economy and why many people have given up looking for jobs (94 million out of the labor force).

  • Craig Elliott Mar 5, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Again, nowhere does it say that Mr. Ramirez is an illegal alien.

  • Debbie Sawyer Mar 5, 2016
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    Is this really where our country is going? Even in a family community like Apex? And some of the comments on this story?? Nowhere in the article does it state that this gentleman is illegal (please note proper spelling since the criminal can't spell). A Latino name so an assumption that he is illegal? And if he was? We are ok not only with discrimination but harassment, threats (if your house was vandalized, you'd feel threatened), trespassing and illegal destruction of property? And by the way - have you ever done the research to see what it entails to come to the US legally? And how much it costs? Believe it or not, I am a staunch conservative, but seeing what my country is becoming scares me. I guess even small town America is not safe from bigotry and hatred.

  • Kioko Fulgarion Mar 5, 2016
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    When Trump gets in the White House, this type of news will suddenly start fizziling out, and I say good riddance.

  • Ron Coleman Mar 5, 2016
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    If he is illegal he needs to leave, file the paperwork and return legally. Like someone else has said we have no respect for any of them here that are violating or immigration laws and they have no right to be here.

  • Craig Elliott Mar 5, 2016
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    Nowhere in the story does it say that Mr. Ramirez is here illegally.

    That said, if you are here illegally you should be afraid, but that fear should be of the legitimate enforcement of the laws of the United States and not mob justice.

  • Chance Loria Mar 5, 2016
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    Stupid people!!! They can't even spell! Word to the wise, if you're going to spray graffiti on something, learn how to spell first! Lol. You're the exact reason why immigrants are even able to come to this country and take your job!

    With that said, I don't believe the illegal path is the right one and I do believe something should be done about that. Maybe we could just make an even swap and send the dimwit who spray painted this racist, misspelled graffiti to Mexico. :)