When the immigration debate reached a crescendo during the election, I and many others started to witness the rise in hate speech and crimes against immigrants in the United States. Against this backdrop, many argued that they weren’t against immigrants, per se, just the bad ones or the illegal ones. Many do not understand that to be in the country without authority is not illegal but they insist in misusing the term nonetheless. But the interesting thing is that many of Donald Trump’s voters did not clearly understand what the anti-immigrant speech and promises to build the wall truly means.

Helen Beristain voted for Donald Trump, according to various news outlets. Helen Beristain supported Trump because he promised to get rid the country of all the criminal immigrants in the United States. Helen Beristain felt that supporting Trump meant that all of the bad immigrants would be kicked out of the country.

But Beristain has now realized that Trump’s immigration enforcement wasn’t about the bad immigrants but rather all immigrants that are in the country without authorization. You see, Beristain’s husband has been in custody since February and is scheduled to be deported because he is an undocumented immigrant. Roberto Beristain had a work permit and owned a restaurant in Indiana, but he was undocumented nonetheless.

Those that believe that immigrating the right-way is as simple as following the rules should consider that Beristain had the proper documents from the U.S. government to work. What he did not have was the proper documents to remain in the country.

More important is that Roberto Beristain is scheduled to deported and his wife now regrets her vote for Trump because she did not understand what Trump really meant by the enforcement of the immigration laws.

There are other anecdotal examples of other voters who now regret their vote for Donald Trump.

But the damage is now done and it is expected to get even worse. Donald Trump should never have been elected. Now that he is there, there are still many who do not truly comprehend the damage they have unleashed on the country.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...