SACRAMENTO — As Donald Trump prepares to become the country’s next president, a number of different communities within California fear their rights may be infringed upon as a result of some of Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
When Sayed Akbari moved from Afghanistan to the U.S. on a special immigrant visa, after years working alongside the U.S. Army, he had one thing in mind.
“I have a hope to have a good future for my children, especially my kids,” said Akbari, who has paid close attention to this year’s election, including Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country.
Despite Trump’s rhetoric, Akbari, a Muslim himself, says he doesn’t think Trump could deliver on his words.
“I don’t worry because it’s all against the international standards, the national rules and regulations. They have to sell themselves. Especially Trump, he’s a big businessman,” said Akbari.
“He used his campaign to attack our community, to attack immigrants, minorities,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director of Sacramento’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs, or CAIR.
Elkarra isn’t so sure Trump’s words are just words. He says Trump’s promises of mass deportation and his considering a religious test for immigration to the U.S. threaten the country’s founding principles.
“We’re concerned for our students, neighbors we see that could be deported overnight. It’s up to the American people to make sure the constitution is protected,” said Elkarra.
“There’s certainly a threat to a lot of policies that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” said Jo Michael, who works with Equality California, a policy organization that advances the rights of the LGBT community.
Gay or transgender immigrants, he says, if deported, risk being sent back to countries where they could see physical abuse, or even death because of their lifestyle.
It’s a scenario, Michael says, Equality California is concerned about under a Trump presidency.
“We could see more deportations of people who could really see mortal danger,” said Michael.
Trump’s Election Sparks Fear in Some Immigrants