Valley immigration advocates respond to President Trump's executive actions

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 00:35:28-05

Local immigration advocates spent Wednesday afternoon trying to calm community fears following President Trump's announcement.

Groups like LUCIAArizona Dream Act Coalition and PUENTE Arizona spoke with the media, saying this is nothing new to them and they are not afraid. 

"The worst thing that people can do is live in fear," said Karina Ruiz with ADAC. "We did that for way too long."

Many say his plans were discouraging, but not surprising. 

"We knew he would make some executive orders regarding immigration and so, for us, it was more preparation and understanding what's coming ahead," explained Tomas Robles with LUCHA. 

Places like ADAC, telling ABC15, their phones have been ringing more frequently over the last few weeks. 

"We have a lot of anxiety in the community," Ruiz explained. "'What's going on?' - nobody knows."

After President Trump's announcement on Wednesday though, they now have a better understanding, even though their stance remains unchanged. 

"There is no community more ready to resist to defend ourselves than those here in Arizona," said Carlos Garcia with PUENTE Arizona. 

These organizations are looking now to educate those in the community who are living illegally in the state right now. 

"No matter your status, you still have rights underneath the constitution," Ruiz said. "And make sure that they know what those are."

The group decided to hold community forum at PUENTE headquarters near 19th Avenue and Adams Wednesday night. But, they all do plan to continue hosting these types of events to continue to answer questions. 

"Each person's case is different," explained Robles. "Each person's situation is different, so we try to individudalize it as much as we possible."