Tri-State residents weigh in on immigration controversy

Farm workers from Mexico work on 'stoop labor' crops as part of the Bracero Program that brought immigrants to the United States from the 1940s to the 1960s. [Photo from the Bracero History Archive]

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the border Wednesday afternoon.

The move is meant to put a stop to the administration's zero tolerance policy.

Now residents are speaking out in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Tri-States.

When driving through Beardstown, you'll notice a lot of billboards and storefront signs in Spanish.

That's because Beardstown has a fairly large Mexican population.

KHQA visited the city for reaction to the United States' immigration policy.

Victorina Quintana immigrated to the United States with her family when she was eight years old.

"I don't mind immigration and I think it's a good thing because diversity is good," Quintana said.

Candance Mueller was passing through the city on her way to Springfield.

"White Americans should remember that they are all immigrants and I totally agree with that," Mueller said.

While she hasn't faced much discrimination in Beardstown, Quintana says it still exists.

"I can say it's both sides," Quintana said.

And it was outrage from both sides of the aisle that sparked a quick change in the nation's immigration policy Wednesday.

"I said from the very beginning that separating families at the border wasn't a long-term solution to this and it needed to change," said U.S. Representative Darin LaHood of Illinois.

Up until now, those under the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy meant kids, in some cases infants, were taken from their parents and put into federal facilities; something the president wanted lawmakers to fix.

"Unfortunately, congress hadn't been able to do that, but I give the president credit, today he ended that policy through executive order," LaHood said.

"It's about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border," said President Donald Trump.

But the Department of Human Services said Wednesday that it's unclear when families will be reunited.

"It just says the administration will try quote to maintain family unity including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources end of quote from the President's executive order. That is no guarantee that these families will be kept together," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

"Everybody has a right to look for a better future for their kids," Quintana said.

We also spoke with people who strongly opposed immigration in the United States, whether it be legal or illegal.

Those people refused to speak about the issue on camera.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off