THE BRONX — Donald Trump's remarks about Mexicans could cost him his new golf course in Throgs Neck if a local activist has his way.
Ed García Conde, founder of the blog Welcome2TheBronx, has started a petition calling on elected officials to cancel Trump's contract with the city for Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the wake of comments he made during his presidential campaign kickoff speech about the types of Mexicans who immigrate to the United States.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems ..." he said. "They're bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
The comments have already caused NBC to end its business relationship with Trump and Univision to cancel its contract with his Miss Universe Organization, which Trump responded to by suing the company for $500 million.
Conde now hopes that the city will follow in the footsteps of NBC and Univision and cut some of its ties with Trump as well, especially given the large Hispanic population in The Bronx.
“If Trump has such disdain for Mexicans, and immigrants overall, then he should relinquish his holding at Ferry Point Golf Course and give the land back to the people to whom it belongs,” Conde's petition reads. “The Bronx and its residents can surely use more parkland, so why not?”
The golf course held its grand opening on May 26 under a deal that faced strong criticism for the favorable terms Trump received. The Independent Budget Office estimated that it cost the city a total of $230 million, and its clubhouse now looks as though it will be 18,455 square feet, as opposed to the originally reported 12,000 square feet.
“If Trump doesn’t respect our residents then he surely doesn’t belong making money off our backs let alone in our borough,” Conde's petition reads.
Diaz has called on Trump to apologize and praised NBC's decision to end its relationship with the presidential candidate. He is analyzing the borough's relationship with Trump but had no comment on whether he would advocate for the city to cancel his golf course contract.
De Blasio criticized Trump's comments about Mexicans as "disgusting and offensive" in a statement, but his office did not respond to a question about his stance on whether or not the city should try to cancel its contract for his golf course.
Mark-Viverito's office did not respond to requests for comment.
Conde acknowledged in his petition that its goal is unlikely, referring to it as a "pipe dream" that "won't ever really happen."
However, it has already attracted 1,067 signatures since being posted on Monday, so he said he was now feeling a bit more hopeful about its prospects.
"It seemed like a pipe dream at first," he said, "but as of this point, we have over 1,000 signatures."
Ron Lieberman, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, maintained that Trump was referring to illegal immigrants and that his comments had nothing to do with the new golf course at Throgs Neck.
The relationship between Trump and the city has been great so far with respect to the course, and the land would probably still be under construction were it not for him, according to Lieberman.
"It wasn't until Trump got involved that he got the whole thing finished and opened," he said. "Without him, The Bronx would be looking at, basically, a construction site rather than a beautiful golf course."