Now that he's their president-elect, local Hispanics and Muslims watch and worry

By  | 

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) They felt targeted by a candidate who said some Mexican immgrants were rapists and bad hombres and pledged to build a wall, who proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country and monitoring American mosques.

The candidate was someone to fear to them. Now he's the president-elect. The fear is real and for many it's personal.

"The following morning during breakfast in a conversation with my son he says 'When are we packing. When are we moving to Mexico?'. He's a citizen born and raised in this country," says Cory Hernandez, Vice President of the Northern Nevada Latino Alliance.

Her son isn't alone in his fear. She says she knows another family whose daughter is afraid to go to school for fear her mother may not be there when she gets home.

The concerns also hit close to home for Dr. Sherif Elfass, President of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community, an American citizen who's been here for 23 years.

"When my mother is scheduled to visit me. She usually comes to visit me. Will that be a problem? My brother. I'd like him to come and visit me. Will that be a problem?"

Both have been hearing the same fears from their communities.

"There's a lot of fear," says Dr. Elfass. "People have concern, especially women with their head scarves on their heads, so people know they are Muslims."

"I receive text messages, phone calls," says Hernandez. "People are asking me 'what are we going to do. We are scared. What if he decides to deport me?'"

The hope is that campaign rhetoric won't become policy.

But they also worry even if President Trump drops much of what he said on the campaign trail, many in the half of America who voted for him won't and will feel empowered to act on it.

Dr. Elfass remembers what happened after the attacks of 9/11.

"Usually after these events there's some people who will take it upon themselves to do things. If my president is saying this way I should should also do that."

"When you see racism, sexism, bigotry coming from the top, coming from your biggest leader, your president, that's when it hurts the most."

"I'm hoping and I refuse to believe that the American people like that, says Elfass. They're looking for change, but not on the account of the minorities and I'm counting on that hope."

"The Latino community are in limbo right now," says Hernandez. "They don't know what's going to happen. They don't how many promises that he made, he's going to be able to deliver within the first 100 days."

Elfass remembers President Bush making an effort to speak to and for American Muslims in the days following 9/11 and hopes to see more inclusive comments from the man who is about to become his president.

"It is in his hands. It is whatever he actually says and does in the first 100 days."