Tears Of Joy And Fear From Immigrant Community After Arpaio Defeat, Trump Victory

Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 7:03am
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.71 MB)
(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
Araceli Guerrero consoles Emily Lopez as Dondald Trump leads in presidential election results.

Latino organizers celebrated the defeat of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with piñatas and cake.

“Adios Arpaio” was emblazoned on shirts, posters and yes— the cake.

“I don’t know I have not even words to tell you how excited and happy I am,” said Lucia Vergara. The airport worker has spent the last five years canvassing against Arpaio.

She said her husband, an undocumented immigrant, was deported in a workplace raid.

Betty Guardado also moved to Arizona with an undocumented husband during Arpaio’s tenure as sheriff.

“I was outraged at the idea that even though I was a citizen, I still drove in fear, thinking ‘when is my husband going to get pulled over,’” Guardado said.

The secretary treasurer for Unite Here 631, Guardado called Paul Penzone’s victory “amazing.”

After the ranchero music was shut off and cake demolished, attention shifted to the returns in the presidential race from across the country. Before 10 p.m. Donald Trump took an unexpected lead in Wisconsin.

Emily Lopez buried her head in her friend’s chest and sobbed. The 17-year-old spent months sharing her story with voters in an attempt to unseat Arpaio and keep Trump from taking office.

“We got the sheriff out which is one thing, but if Trump wins, I don’t know what to do,” Lopez said, unable to contain her tears.

She said her parents fled El Salvador in the 1980s. Her dad was deported and her mother lives in Phoenix as an undocumented immigrant.

“I can’t lose another parent,” Lopez said.

Trump made campaign promises to deport undocumented immigrants and undo executive actions that granted temporary legal status to some immigrants. 

“I want people who care about us to choose our future,” Lopez said. “Our future isn’t looking bright right now.”

If you like this story, Donate Now!