Local News

Durham group holds meeting to address concerns among Hispanic community

Posted November 16, 2016
Updated November 17, 2016

— El Centro Hispano, in Durham, held a meeting Thursday night to address growing concerns among the community following Donald Trump being elected as the next presidents of the United States.

Workers at El Centro Hispano said they have fielded dozens of calls from those who are worried not only for themselves, but for their children.

"I'm saddened and also disappointed in how things are moving along, where we had gained some momentum for progress, it seems like we're going backwards," said Judith Montenegro.

Teachers told workers that some students are afraid to come to school, worried their parents may be deported while they are away.

"They're calling our kids immigrants, illegals, go to your house, things like that and it's cruel for our kids," said Maria Luis.

Luis is concerned about kids like 13-year-old Monica Duran-Castillo. Castillo said that while she hasn't experienced any negative reaction at her charter school since the election, she is concerned about what the future holds for her family.

"One of my dreams is my parents being allowed here, being treated as who they are," Castillo said.

Castillo was born in the United States but her parents are immigrants, like many of the families at Thursday's meeting. Immigration attorneys were part of the panel, offering advice and hope.

"There's lots of people in their corner and there are still avenues for relief available," said attorney Jack Rocker.

Adults said overt discrimination is becoming more common.

"One person was in the bank and a guy in front of him turned and said, 'The wall is coming,' and things like that," said Pilar Rocha-Goldberg. "Another case, a woman was in a restaurant and another woman called the police and said, "Please take her away because she's Mexican."

The meeting was the first in a series planned by El Centro. The next meeting is scheduled for next week in Carrboro.


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  • Dean Morron Nov 18, 2016
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    A somewhat worthy news story if things were reported correctly. It always amazes me how the media and especially WRAL and its staff members chose words really not associated with the TRUE story. There is a major difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien. If you are in this country legally you don't have much to worry about. Lets focus on 2 major issues, amnesty & citizenship and deportation.

  • Ronald Woodard Nov 17, 2016
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    Latinos who are citizens and in the USA legally have no reason to fear anything. More legal immigrants are allowed to the USA each year than any other nation. Hispanics and Asians are treated the most generously with legal immigration. We do not need to apologize for asking people to obey our immigration laws. Where is the concern for citizens who lose jobs to illegals and see their wages decrease due to a labor oversupply because of uncontrolled immigration and a failure of our federal government to enforce our immigration laws?

  • Buster Brown Nov 17, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    If you are so convinced of the reportial objectivity of WRAL, why do you question my one single statement?

  • Jeff Freuler Nov 17, 2016
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    There is a process to become a citizen of this country. Many have done it and people holding an illegal status need to step up and get their citizenship. Then their worries are over

  • Bryan Jeffries Nov 17, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    If you're convinced it's only slanted one way, why continue to drive traffic to the website?

  • Susan Olvera Nov 17, 2016
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    You guys are missing the point. Disagree with illegal immigration, fine - no dispute. We need reform. What none of you have said anything about are how people are treating Latinos! My husband is a naturalized American citizen and in the past has had his car egged, been followed by vehicles, and have had people tell him to "go home to your own country" on the assumption that he's illegal. No one can look at a person and tell if they're illegal and anyone who treats people like this is a racist bigot. Workboots and accent doesn't = illegal. A Hispanic woman speaking Spanish to her children doesn't mean her children are anchor babies. Legal Latino immigrants are afraid because of how they're being treated by their fellow community members! How the person in the bank are treated was deplorable!

  • Jeffrey Derry Nov 16, 2016
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    If u r legal nothing to worry about, if u r illegal go home and make ur country great again. America a country of laws.

  • Alex Stephens Nov 16, 2016
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    ... or if they are dependent on Federal benefits which are designed to be for American citizens, they would be correct to be concerned.

  • Alex Stephens Nov 16, 2016
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    If they are here illegally, they should be concerned—particularly if they have criminal backgrounds.

  • Buster Brown Nov 16, 2016
    user avatar

    The well know leftist/socialist penchant of WRAL shines through yet again...Slanted?? not much.