Meeting Nov. 12 planned for communities of color concerned about the election outcome
By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Estela de los Rios, past victim of a hate crime in El Cajon
November 11, 2016 (San Diego) – Maria, a maid and legal U.S. resident who has raised her daughter here, tearfully put her elderly, frail mother on a plane Wednesday night and said goodbye, perhaps forever. “She is going back to Mexico, before Donald Trump can deport her,” Maria told East Magazine.
President-Elect Trump has vowed to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in America—including those brought here as children and the parents of U.S. citizens. Even children who were brought here as babies, who have never known any other home. Even ill and elderly parents such as Maria’s mother, who has survived cancer and suffers from diabetes. Maria fears she is too ill to survive long on her own in Mexico—but the prospect of her mother languishing in a detention camp was even more frightening.
Prominent Latino leader Estela De Los Rios of El Cajon posted on Facebook after the election results, “my grandkids are devastated and I heard other children were crying at school.” De Los Rios, daughter of agricultural workers, was a victim of a hate crime several years ago at her office in El Cajon. She fears for the safety and future of undocumented immigrants and others who could be victimized based on their ethnicity. Hate crimes have risen sharply around the nation since news of Trump's election.
Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels, an immigrant rights organization in San Diego, posted on his Facebook page, ”As we all reflect on this historic election, we need to remember to honor the results. Love has no borders.” But he added that in the first 24 hours after the election,”We have received numerous questions from members of our community about what will happen with their immigration status, what will happen with DACA, DAPA (the presidents’ executive orders protecting children and parents) and so much more.”
He has noted in a Union-Tribune interview that familes are “terrified” and that young people who appliedfor the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) now fear deportation since the government has a record of them as undocumented immigrants.
Border Angels provides free immigration attorneys each Tuesday evening starting at 6 p.m. at theBorder Angels office in the Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Avenue, and on the first Sunday each month at the US/Mexico border at Friendship Park.
The group also provides water in the desert for migrants as a humanitarian effort. Morones has told the UT he fears smugglers may prey on would-be immigrants fears, prompting a last-ditch effort to cross the border before Trump can follow through on his pledge to build a wall. That could prompt more deaths in the mountains and desert as winter approaches.
Trump continues to stoke fears among immigrants with his appointment of Chris Kobach, architect of anti-immigration and voter suppression laws, to serve as immigration advisor on Trump’s transition team. Among other things,Kobach also helped draft anti-immigration laws through the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of FAIR, a designated hate group, according to theSouthern Poverty Law Center.
Undocumented aren’t the only ones with concerns. Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and endorsement by the Ku Klux Klan have sparked fears in Middle Eastern and African-American residents as well.
On Saturday, November12 from10:30 to 12:30 p.m. a meeting for communities of color concerned about the election outcome particularly for young people will be held at the Martin Luther KingCenter community room, 6401 Skyline Drive in San Diego, led by psychologist Dr. Vangie Akridge. For more information on this free event, contact JoAnn Fields, (619)884-9886, coordinator ofPro-ActiveCivic Engagement (PACE).