Anger and Fear Spread Quickly in the Wake of an Anti-Immigrant Week

August 12, 2019

After a week that featured an anti-immigrant massacre and a large-scale ICE raid, which fractured hundreds of families, the latino community is experiencing anger, fear and uncertainty

After a week that featured an anti-immigrant massacre and a large-scale ICE raid, which fractured hundreds of families, the latino community is experiencing anger, fear and uncertainty


Anger and Fear Spread Quickly in the Wake of an Anti-Immigrant Week

Story Transcript

OSCAR LEÓN This week the Latino community was shaken by two acts of terror. The first was the massacre at El Paso, on Saturday Aug the 3rd. When a gunman opened fire and killed 22 people. Purposely targeting “Latinos”, according to his own words. 

But the shock and awe for the Latino Community did not end there. On Wednesday August 7, Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE conducted raids on six different cities in Mississippi, leaving a distraught community in its wake.

MAGDALENA GOMEZ GREGORIO I need my dad by me. My dad didn’t do nothing, he’s not a criminal or something. Immigration took him. Please let him free (cries).

OSCAR LEÓN The anger at the various images of broken families and traumatized children quickly spread.

JASON COOKER Nobody’s safer in Mississippi. Nobody’s better off. What happened with these raids devastated hard working families that are trying to do their best.

FATHER JERRY TOBIN This is unconscionable. We have an agency that was created after 2001, called ICE. It reminds me of the Gestapo. I’m old enough to remember the Gestapo. We got it here now. This is unacceptable.

OSCAR LEÓN Yet among the community of undocumented immigrants, more than anger it was fear that spread. According to an anonymous source, from a popular store among Latinos, business has been running slow all week, and fear seems to be the culprit.  We spoke with several members of an unidentified community: 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN I don’t think the community is more united now. I think it’s the opposite. They have hidden even more to avoid going out.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN The raid and massacre do influence people from Mexico and with Mexican blood. We are thinking twice before going to a store after what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2 After what happened this week, we do feel insecure. After such a week, now you go shopping and can’t be sure if you are safe.

OSCAR LEÓN They also told us about a new wave of discrimination, by emboldened Trump supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2 If we speak Spanish to each other, for example at work, they stare at us like, “What’s up with these two?” I mean, you can tell when people give you a racist stare.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN As a matter of fact in my school they have treated me bad because I spoke Spanish, and since I can’t speak english that good, sometimes I feel scared to speak Spanish. I fear they’ll bully me or tell me something mean because of my accent.

I try, but it feels ugly, because I have other classmates that are scared to speak english, because they think they will get bullied as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 3 It feels bad, because there is discrimination. I also feel insecure, you can’t go shopping in peace. Imagine it, if you go to a store, there are not supposed to be any guns there. They think we are stealing their jobs, but I don’t think so. We are doing the jobs they don’t want to do.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2 I was at work, there they told us “we don’t want for you to speak Spanish”, because we were two Mexicans and we spoke Spanish to each other. We replied, “What are we supposed to speak. We only speak Spanish. We are learning english but we just got to this country.”

OSCAR LEÓN Follow The Real News for more on the issue.