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Pro-Trump Town Conflicted After Local Role Model Is Detained By ICE


For more than a decade, 38-year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco has been a model citizen in West Frankfort, Illinois, a coal-mining town that heavily supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election. According to KSDK NBC News, not only does Hernandez manage a local Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta, but he’s also very active in community cleanup projects, local fundraisers, and has provided community support measures like meals for working firefighters.

Unfortunately, Hernandez, who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s, never obtained legal status, a problem that caught up to him in early February.

On February 9th, Hernandez was arrested by Immigration Customs and and Enforcement.

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Though ICE did not give an official reason for his recent arrest, the department did acknowledge a 2007 drunk driving conviction, NBC reports. Friends of Hernandez told the New York Times that Hernandez quit drinking after that 2007 arrest. If Hernandez is deported, he will leave behind a wife and three children.

While many locals believe in immigration reform, and are pro-legal immigration, the arrest of Hernandez has caused many pro-Trump locals to confront the realities of deportation. Local business owner Lori Barron echoed this sentiment in the New York Times, saying, “I think people need to do things the right way, follow the rules and obey the laws, and I firmly believe in that.” However, in the case of Hernandez, Barron conceded that the town of West Frankfort has largely benefited because of Hernandez’s contributions, saying, “I think he may have done more for the people here than this place has ever given him.”

Several members of the Pro-Trump community have come out in support of Hernandez.


Since his arrest, several prominent officials, including the town’s mayor and police chief, have spoken out to support Hernandez. One of Hernandez’s friends, Tim Grigsby, told NBC he’s the kind of guy you’d want to “pattern your life after.” Friends have insisted that their support for Hernandez is not a political issue, but a personal one. Grigsby told NBC, “If any judge were to look at this case, I don’t know how anybody could say that this individual isn’t worthy of becoming a citizen of this country.”

For now, Hernandez’s future remains uncertain. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help with Hernandez’s mounting legal fees. He is currently scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday.

[H/T] NEW YORK TIMES: He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported.

READ: California’s Farmers Voted For Trump Because They Wanted Change. They Told The NY Times They’re Worried Trump Might Deport Their Undocumented Work Force

Salvadoran Officials Are Looking For Those Responsible For The Death Of Gustavito The Hippo

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Salvadoran Officials Are Looking For Those Responsible For The Death Of Gustavito The Hippo

@skittysk / Instagram / @TN21sv / Twitter

Salvadorans are mourning the death of Gustavito, a 15-year-old hippopotamus who was brutally beaten to death by an unknown assailant at the National Zoological Park in San Salvador, El Salvador. In a country that has seen thousands of deaths over the past year linked to gang violence, the death of Gustavito has sent shockwaves through the Central American country.

Citizens in El Salvador are outraged over the senseless death of Gustavito.

Late on the evening of February 26, Gustavito died after a sustained and still mysterious beating from the week before. The hippopotamus was found with bruises and lacerations all over his body.

Salvadorans nationwide are mourning the death of one of the zoo’s most beloved animals.

“The Secretary of Culture regrets to inform the country that on Sunday, February 26, hippo Gustavito has died,” reads a press release from the zoo. “His death occurred due to serious complications in his health caused by the severe and forceful blows and injuries that he received on several parts of his body in a cowardly and inhumane attack that is being investigated. Veterinarians will perform the necropsy to determine, in more detail, the cause of death.”

Many can’t understand why someone would attack an animal in a zoo.

According to CNN, zoo director Vladen Henríquez said that “there were injuries inside his mouth” that were likely caused when “the animal tried to defend itself.”

Throughout El Salvador, people paid their respects to Gustavito.

“The death of #Gustavito has definitely moved us all,” wrote Twitter user @OwitOx.

In San Salvador, a candlelight vigil was held for the fallen animal.

According to NBC News, Gustavito was born and raised in Guatemala but was transported to the zoo in San Salvador 13 years ago.

Some are demanding that the zoo close and find those responsible.

In a country torn apart by violence, the death of Gustavito has dealt the country an unexpected blow.

According to the Washington Post, 5,278 people were murdered in El Salvador last year. Based on a population size of 6 million, El Salvador has the worst murder rate of the Western Hemisphere.

RIP, Gustavito.

Twitter user @Alexander2324lf wrote: “What heartless person could try to hurt a poor animal. #Gustavito ?”

READ: Endangered Baby Dolphin Dies Because Tourists Wanted To Take Selfies With It…Seriously

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