At Wednesday’s Spanish-language noontime Mass at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in downtown Los Angeles, Tuesday's presidential election of Donald Trump weighed on everyone’s mind.
Speaking to a congregation largely of Latin American immigrants, Father Luis Estrada addressed the disquiet in the small Catholic church, saying he encouraged people in his sermon to think about the positives in the election.
Afterward, in the church courtyard, he said one silver lining could be that more people will apply for U.S. citizenship.
“We cannot be focused on the negativity. If we focus on the negativity, we can’t accomplish anything. We have to focus on the positives – and to trust in the Lord,” he said.
Many of those attending the Mass said they are U.S. citizens or legal residents. But they prayed nonetheless that Trump's rhetoric and campaign promises to deport unauthorized immigrants won’t affect friends and loved ones.
“I’m thinking about the immigrants, the ones who don’t have papers ...,” said Elizabeth Lopez, a Guatemalan immigrant speaking in Spanish.
“I’ve been praying since this started," she said. "I’m praying now that God illuminates this man that the nation has picked as president … I’m asking God to touch his heart, to let him be human.”
After Mass ended, many people remained in the church to pray.
Trump has called for a wall along the country's southern border with Mexico, which he insists Mexico will pay for. He has also proposed a two-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for those illegally entering the country and a five-year mandatory minimum for felons caught illegally re-entering the U.S.
His proposal for a deportation task force has also unnerved some among the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, as has the possibility that he may reverse President Obama's administrative program that allowed hundreds of thousands brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the country.