By Dylan Campbell
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer was on his morning jog along Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside on Oct. 7 when he was faced with a sign telling New Yorkers in bold capital letters that it is their "civic duty to report any and all illegal aliens.”
He immediately took to Twitter to show himself tearing the sign down.
“We are a #SanctuaryCity & we need to be a sanctuary neighborhood. All Immigrants are welcome here. If you see these, feel free to take them down. Be a sanctuary neighbor,” he tweeted.
Two days later, Van Bramer hosted a press conference alongside activists from Make the Road NY to condemn the flyers.
Van Bramer's office believes the signs are the work of Vanguard America, an underground white supremacist group whose voices increased after President Trump's election, gathering in large numbers at the #UniteTheRight rally in Charlottesville.
“There’s no room for white supremacist flyers in our neighborhoods,” Make the Road NY tweeted.
According to the latest census data, Sunnyside is 35 percent Hispanic, 34 percent Asian, 28 percent white and 2 percent African-American.
In the days after the tweet went viral, the Center for the Integration & Advancement of New Americans (CIANA), an Astoria-based group that helps immigrants, plastered counter posters calling on people to “stand united against hate,” amNY reported.