Wisconsin city embraces Hispanic population amid immigration talks

Nearly 60% voted for Trump in Arcadia, WI
Posted at 12:32 PM, Apr 23, 2017
ARCADIA, Wis. (AP) -- Nearly 60 percent of a city in western Wisconsin voted for President Donald Trump, but residents say there hasn't been a culture of anti-immigrant or anti-Hispanic sentiment in the community.
Arcadia has seen a growing Hispanic population in recent years, the La Crosse Tribune reported. Hispanic students now make up the majority of the Arcadia School District's population, and the U.S. Department of Justice recently required the city to offer a bilingual ballot to residents in elections.
U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Hispanic people only made up about 3 percent of the population of Arcadia in 2000. Now, the Hispanic population makes up more than a third of the city's residents and nearly doubled from nearly 570 in 2010 to more than 970 in 2015. That's about a third of Arcadia's nearly 3,000 residents.
"I welcome it," said Chuck Timm, owner of a local bar. "It means more people and businesses on Main Street. It means more people to frequent my business and others."
But that doesn't mean the Hispanic population hasn't been following the national conversation closely after Trump's promises to crack down on illegal immigration.
Sixteen-year-old Eric Mora said his family, and many others, came to Arcadia for work and better opportunities but that now many in the community worry about the future.
Arcadia's school Superintendent Louie Ferguson said these families have been a blessing to the city. She said the enrollment growth has enabled the district to offer more opportunities to students.
"This has been such a huge plus to the school district," Ferguson said. "The Hispanic population has been very supportive of the community and its schools. They are such a great part of the community."
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