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Yucatecans in the U.S. prepare for possible return

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Prayers are said before a meal by deported migrants at a canteen run by BorderLinks just across the US-Mexico border in Nogales,  Mexico. Photo: Getty
Prayers are said before a meal by deported migrants at a canteen run by BorderLinks just across the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Mexico. Photo: Getty

With the unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election, members of the Yucatecan community residing in the U.S. are living in uncertain times.

Many are preparing for a possible trip back to Mayan land, said Gladys Pinto Muñoz, president of the Federación de Clubes Yucatecos de California. Trump’s campaign was propelled by a promise to crack down on immigration from Mexico.

Pinto Muñoz told Sipse that she expects a “wave” of people back to Mexico because their legal status is in limbo.

Around 742,000 so-called “Dreamers” — protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — are at risk of losing legal status. Hundreds could be returning to Yucatán in the coming months. 

Approximately 180,000 Yucatecans live in the United States. 

Trump easily could boost deportations by more than 75 percent in his first year in office, under one estimate. That would actually not exceed the record set in 2012, at the end of Obama’s first term, when more than 400,000 people were deported. 

Immediately after election day, Latin American immigrant groups began to organize mass demonstrations. On Saturday Yucatecan groups will join a public outcry called #UnidosContraElOdio (#UnitedAgainsHate) at 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, interviewed via telephone by Sipse, Angel Granados Ontiveros, president of the Northern California Yucatecos club, said there is no cause for alarm.

He recommends migrants work hard, save resources and avoid getting into trouble with the law. Don’t drive drunk or carry weapons, he advises.

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