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Influence of Latino voters in general election

Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 18:14:29-05

"I stayed up til' 2:30 in the morning," said Hector Pagan, who considers himself a Democrat. "I thought I was having a bad dream."

That so-called "bad dream" is Pagan's new reality for the next four years. He's a Hispanic voter who knew he was voting for Hillary Clinton since she announced she was running for president. 

"She understands the struggles that as Latinos we face in America now a days... and ever since she stole my heart," said Pagan.

He is one of the 65% of Latino voters nationwide who voted for Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama had 71% of Latino voters in 2012, meaning that this year, Clinton had 6% lower to what Obama received four years ago. Donald Trump won 29% of the Latino vote Tuesday night.

One supporter of the President-elect who 7 Eyewitness News spoke to didn't want to be on camera, but says he's confident Trump will work with his community to improve this country.

"I don't think he is racist," he said. "He speaks with the truth and he is not going around to hide it from you to make you feel better. He's going to tell you if it hurts you or not, he will tell you the truth. And I think I can relate myself with him in that way."

He also says he relates to Trump regarding keeping undocumented workers out of the United States. A topic that hits close to home, after it took him almost four years to move here legally from Guatemala.

"I went through so much to become legal and I did it the right way, so I think that anybody that is here the illegal way should start either becoming or trying to get the only legal way to be here, or just go home because it's tough here."

7 Eyewitness News also reached out to Latinos through the page "Latinos/Hispanics for Donald Trump. One lady, Minerva Soto Weisman, quickly contacted us back, wanting to comment. She was born and raised in Mexico, and moved to the United States with her family in 1985.

"My father started working as a migrant worker in California, picking strawberries, cotton, and other produce," she wrote. "He became legal through an amnesty program. He worked hard and his boss sponsored him. He got his green card and applied to get his family legalized."

Soto Weisman added that her fathers hard work translated into her life.

"I did not know English and learned it because I had the willingness to succeed in this great country of opportunities," she wrote. "My parents taught me to work hard for what I want. [...] Many jobs/companies have left this country due to greedy people wanting to get rich by paying low wages in other countries. This needs to stop and we need to bring back these jobs to those who need them!"

Now, her hard work translates into her political beliefs.

"Hillary wants to grant amnesty to all... and accept refugees," she wrote. "My family and others went through a long process, we followed the law! You just can't open your house to anyone without knowing who you are inviting!"

Meanwhile, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is still surprised after Tuesday's election.

"I wasn't expecting that... I have some anxiety, some questions about the future... mixed feelings," said Nasir Khan, President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Buffalo Chapter.

Khan says although the community is surprised with the election results, it's hopeful Donald Trump will unite rather than separate.

"He is the elected president, he is the leader of the free world," said Khan. "And we have to give him a chance to prove his point. Only when we are united and cooperative can we be stronger."

"We have to respect each other," said Pagan. "Because we live in America!"