International students paid close attention the election, although they couldn’t vote, and Hispanic students had varied responses to Trump’s election.
Renique Rodriguez, president of Hispanos Unidos, said her grandparents immigrated from Mexico which sparked her family to be passionate about politics.
“Being able to have the right to vote is a big deal in the immigrant and Hispanic community because you are now a citizen of the United States,” Rodriguez said. “And you have this voice to speak up.”
Rodriguez, junior missions major from Georgetown, said she’s seen a lot of outrage from the Hispanic community since Trump was elected. She said she’s heard many Hispanics say they feel worthless in the eyes of America, but her family actually voted for Trump. Rodriguez said she was torn about her own vote.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s okay to stand with someone who is racist,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not okay with this.”
Vicente Rojas, senior engineering major from Torreon, Mexico, said many of his friends in Mexico were disappointed with Trump’s election because of the things he has said about Mexicans. However, Rojas said he personally wants to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.
“I hope he’s going to do a good job,” Rojas said. “I’m interested to see how he’s going to do as a person who comes from a different background.”
Rojas said Trump’s election has no effect on him because he came into the country legally by getting a student visa. He plans to stay in the United States after graduation and get his Master’s degree while working for an engineering firm. He said he can stay in the country for three years without a permit as a graduate of a U.S. university, but after three years his company would have to sponsor him for a work visa.
“I know I got into this country the right way,” Rojas said. “I know I’m going to be okay as long as I follow the regulations – those are not going to change from night to day.”
Christi Lim, International Students’ Association president, said she found it interesting that Hillary Clinton had more popular votes, but Trump won the election. She said American students should be grateful regardless of the election results because they have more of a political voice than her home country, Malaysia. When the country elected its current prime minister, Lim said he was losing in the polls but after a nationwide blackout, the lights came on and he was winning.
“There’s a lot of corruption going on in Malaysia,” Lim said. “It’s all really fishy stuff. Basically it looks like we can vote, but in the end our opinion doesn’t quite matter.”
Lim, junior graphic design and advertising major from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said she heard Illinois elected its first Asian female senator, Republican Tammy Duckworth.
“Even if the results weren’t what most people that I know wanted, at least some good stuff is happening in other places too,” Lim said.