NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – He called them criminals, drug dealers, and rapists on the campaign trail.
Now, a Donald Trump presidency is causing a ripple effect in the Hispanic community, and he hasn’t even taken office.
Many are in fear of what’s to come and if he will keep his campaign promise of mass deportation.
Even before Trump gave his victory speech during the wee hours of the morning, some were concerned.
“I have been seeing among the Hispanics fear,” said Pastor Jorge Arenivas of the Third Baptist Church in Murfreesboro.
Some folks in the Hispanic community in Nashville and Murfreesboro have been walking on egg shells.
“With Mr. Trump, and all he was saying about the illegals, and all that,” Pastor Arenivas said. “I knew that affected not only the Hispanics but other immigrants.”
Arenivas knows what it’s like being an immigrant in this country illegally. He became a US citizen in 1987.
“Yeah, they are afraid, and it breaks my heart,” he said.
“I think our community has woken up to a nation a little bit in fear,” said Conexion Americas executive director Renata Soto. “A little bit of uncertainty of what the future holds because of the campaign promises of our president-elect.”
Trump won’t take office until Jan. 20, but Soto is worried.
“What the future might hold because of the campaign promises of our president-elect, how much of that will be acted upon, when, and to what extent?” Soto questioned. “There will be healing that has to happen in our country because of the things that was said and the attacks that were directed at our community. The punching bag we were used as, the inaccuracies of how we were portrayed.”
Another fear in the Latino community is among school children.
News 2 spoke with several teachers who say students have come to them crying, saying they may have to leave school, if their undocumented parents are deported.
“In our after school program yesterday in Madison our staff members heard kids said they might not be today at school precisely, fearing that the outcome of the election means uncertainty for them and their families,” Soto said.
Arenivas’ daughter Tania has heard the same thing at her middle school in Murfreesboro.
“Some of them are scared that like their parents are going to leave and they have to leave and some of them don’t know that much Spanish and then they will have to adjust to something new,” Tania Arenivas said.
In the meantime, the Hispanic community is being educated to help ease their fears.
Get more on this year’s presidential election at wkrn.com/election.