LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many Hispanics are worried that the immigration controversy is a recipe for racial profiling and leaves Hispanics afraid to report crimes.
Martha Maldonado's parents crossed the border as illegal immigrants decades ago. She says the immigration controversy hits home.
"They came here 40 years ago and started from nothing," Maldonado said. "They worked two and three jobs each to build what they have now."
Maldonado showed me what her parents have earned, and what she now manages. Here in the kitchen of La Unica, she says no one knows English.
Back in the 80s, her parents become legal citizens. She says it's not an easy process.
"I know a lot of people that are here illegally and are afraid," Maldonado said.
She believes the U.S. is in dire need of immigration reform. But she also feels the government is partly to blame for the problem.
"The United States has allowed it to happen and so now to turn your back on people you've allowed in to come and work and jobs that frankly most people don't want to do and now all of the sudden it's not convenient," she said.
Lufkin Police declined to comment. They don't want to speculate on a law still up in the air. Maldonado fears the Hispanic community would lose trust in police if the law passes in Texas.
"If you are here illegally and there's a crime committed against you obviously you're not going to call the police for help if you're at the risk for being deported," Maldonado said.
Although Maldonado's family doesn't fear of deportation, they do fear a law they believe is taking a big step backward.
We tried to talk to other businesses on this topic, but they didn't want to talk on-camera. They were concerned it could hurt their business.