VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A Mexican-born Canadian construction worker said he hung Mexico's flag atop Vancouver's Trump International Hotel and Tower over the weekend to remind the billionaire who built the tower.
Diego Reyna walked up 40 flights of stairs and recorded a 43-second video that said the building wouldn't exist without immigrants.
"It was a symbolic act," Reyna said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "When you say everyone in my family, my teachers, my children yet to be born are criminals and rapists, it is time to take a proactive effort."
In the video he said Mexicans performed everything from drywall to concrete finishing on the project. During his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump has been criticized after Trump for saying Mexican immigrants are bringing crime and drugs to the U.S. and are "rapists."
"This building is standing here today thanks to us, to our work," he says. "There's a little present for Mr. Trump, so every time you judge us you can think who is building your towers."
Reyna, 30, said in a separate Facebook post that Mexicans didn't steal or rape but just did the best work they possibly could.
"Your tower here in Vancouver is premium quality, and we were a crucial part of it, not just Mexicans but immigrants as a whole, like your ancestors were," he said.
"The insults you have said about us have not changed our work ethics."
Reyna, who arrived in Canada in 2011 and is now a Canadian citizen, arrived at the building in his construction gear with friend Alfonso Ramos, 37, early April 2. They took an elevator 28 floors and climbed the remaining 40 floors by stairs. Reyna said Trump's comments condemned all Mexicans. "I would like him not to generalize against Mexico," Reyna said.
The Holborn Group of Companies, the Vancouver developer behind the project, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Tuesday.
This isn't the first time the building has been at the center of a Trump backlash.
In December, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson sent a letter urging the developer to drop Trump's name from the tower, citing a petition signed by more than 50,000 people asking that the U.S. businessman's name be removed from the tower following the Republican hopeful's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Reyna said there are also Muslims working on the site.
Trump visited the city in 2013 to help announce the project. The Trump Organization said it was lending its brand power and operating the tower, but that the family would not be investing in the development.