South Floridians chime in on Trump’s immigration orders

(WSVN) - After President Trump signed executive orders dealing with immigration, Wednesday, many community leaders and activists in immigrant-rich South Florida had mixed reactions.

The executive orders Trump signed ordered the construction of a border wall between Mexico and the U.S., and also called for the end of federal funding to cities which declare themselves “sanctuary cities” for immigrants. Trump also plans to ban immigrants and suspend visas from certain Middle Eastern countries, in an order that he could sign this week.

“That’s racism,” said a woman. “It’s anti-humanitarian.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was optimistic about Trump’s orders.

“Probably a good idea to do,” he said, “to at least increase the vigilance and the vetting of people coming from certain countries to make sure that we’re not importing terrorism.”

Wilfredo Ruiz of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the proposed border wall is misguided.

“We’re talking about security and building a wall in Mexico makes no sense when we learn that terrorists have come through the border, through Canada,” Ruiz said. “What are we gonna do in Canada? Another wall through all the northern border? So that’s not the solution.”

Danny Darwish, the owner of an insurance company in Plantation and a muslim, said the president should be given a chance, but he said, Trump should give immigrants another way to escape hardships.

“I think to limit it, yeah, why not?” he said, “But do another alternative because they’re still humans, and they need somewhere to go, you know?”

But immigration attorney Elizabeth Blandon said that immigrants seeking visas already face several levels of security and questions.

“To say people are not allowed from certain countries if you’re a refugee,” she said, “Well, how’s that gonna affect us when people look to us from all over the world to uphold certain values and ideals?”

At Al Salam International Market, employees said they’re very aware of what Trump is doing, but many thought it was too early to judge.

“It could be something good, it could be something not so bad, but it could be a little bad,” Ahmad Quadi said, “But it’s not so bad, so give him a chance. Let’s see.”

Most employees said they’re waiting to see what else Trump does.

But Ariel Rojas of Students Working for Equal Rights said that Trump’s immigration measures are wrong.

“The Christian thing to do is to provide sanctuary for people who want to come here and who pose no threat to the United States,” Rojas said.

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