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Local Hispanic community reacts to wall order

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 00:05:44-05

President Trump's executive order to begin construction on a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico is designed to crack down on immigration and boost national security.

But Wednesday, many in the community said it won't stop many people from the American Dream.

“We love this country, we love this people,” said business owner Alfredo Herrera.

Herrera's time in Tulsa stretches all the way back to 1968...and he remembers when the city's cultural makeup looked very different.

“The hispanic community was very, very small...almost none. I think the biggest Mexican population was in Bixby,” he said.

Now his community is large and full of worry over the 45th President's plan to build a wall and crack down on immigration.

“I know many people who will be affected...many people who just worry about the immigration starting to deport people,” Herrera said.

For local hispanic leaders, the wall is purely political.

“We're going to be watching,” said Coalition for the American Dream President Blanca Zavala said. “That's not going to stop people from entering the United States because obviously there's other ways to get into the United States.”

With so much worry about deportation, Zavala is urging Tulsans to stay vigilant.

“Call your Congressmans and tell them we do need immigration reform. We are here to stay and we're not going anywhere,” she said.

Herrera is proud of the life he created for his wife and three children.

He said he's grateful Trump's wall won't separate him from his family.

“I don't wish him to fail because if he fails, the whole country fails, but I don't think he's doing exactly the right things,” he said.

Advocates said one of the main concerns in the Tulsa community right now is the future of the children in President Obama's DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) program.

Trump vowed to repeal the program during his campaign.