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Trump's Win Stuns Latinos, Immigrants Worry About Their Future

Trump's stunning victory Wednesday sent ripples of worry and horror through a significant portion of the Latino community.
Image: Mike Pence and Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence during their Election Night rally in New York on Nov. 9, 2016.John Locher / AP

Immigration activist Greisa Martinez Rosa had reassured her undocumented mother Tuesday they were going to be okay. By election night’s end she was dreading their next conversation.

Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in their White House battle after he waged a campaign that included promises to crack down on illegal immigration, deport people illegally here and to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it.

“I feel sick to my stomach that this is the reality that we would have to live in,” said Martinez, advocacy director at United We Dream. “My conversation tomorrow with her will be a different one and not one I feel prepared to have, but don’t think I ever will be.

Trump's stunning victory Wednesday sent ripples of worry and horror through a portion of the Latino community. He had started his campaign with comments that angered many in the Latino community, insisting Mexico sends rapists and people who commit crimes and drugs to the U.S.

In a Facebook post, immigrant advocate Gaby Pacheco, said she was getting calls and texts from people who were scared. Pacheco was a leader in the immigration activism movement that pushed for DACA deportation relief.

Sri Vasamsetti, 22, of Seattle and a supporter of Clinton, watches televised coverage of the presidential election at the Comet Tavern in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington on Nov. 8.JASON REDMOND / AFP - Getty Images

“They are crying in despair,” she said in the post. “To those who voted for Trump, know that you have put a target on our backs.”

“It’s going to be a dark day in America and I hope the Democrats in Congress will be able to forestall any major impacts from a Trump presidency,” said Leo Chavez, an anthropology professor at University of California Irvine and author of “Latino Threat.”

There were Latinos who celebrated his win, even though they were the minority in the community.

German José Ortiz, a Colombian American from Bedford, N.H. voted for Trump and said he was humbled by his candidate's victory. But Ortiz expressed a message of reco rsounded a message of

“We have to work together to be able to maintain the uniqueness of this country for our children,” Ortiz said.

Trump surrogate Bertica Cabrera Morris, a business and government consultant said she wasn’t surprised Trump won her home state of Florida.

“The excitement was not there for Hillary,” she said. Morris says she saw more excitement over Trump than for Romney in 2012.

Trump’s win leaves hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, with an uncertain future.

More than 700,000 young immigrants like Martinez have been shielded from deportation and allowed to work because of DACA. During the campaign Trump promised to end the program soon after taking office.

“As an immigrant from Mexico and a DACA recipient, I am beyond terrified right now. This is not my America,” Javier Gamboa, the deputy national press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wrote in a tweet and a Facebook post.

The outcome jolted much of the Latino community that late last week had been seen as poised to deliver a record-breaking turnout that would help carry Clinton to victory.

“What I think many of us did not understand was the extent to which whites who supported Trump were going to turn out and vote in substantial numbers,” said Luis Fraga, a politics professor at Notre Dame.

“Although I think many of us understood that his supporters had great concerns regarding globalization and free trade and multiculturalism and religious and ethnic diversity, I don’t think we understood how much of a motivator that would be for many Americans to come out and support him,” he said.

NBC contributors Carmen Sesin and Sandra Guzman contributed to this report.

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