On November 9, the American people elected Donald Trump to be their 45th president in a surprise result that pollsters and most media thought nearly impossible.
Liang Sidney, a community activist in Lowell, MA, said he was shocked by the result, adding that schoolchildren in the area were afraid for their parents following heightened anti-immigrant sentiment.
Protests since the election have seen thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators take toe the streets in major cities.
In Chicago, Leoung Sophorn says, “It shouldn’t have happened.”
“I’m so frustrated that Mr Trump, who speaks divisive language, got elected. I didn’t vote for him.”
After learning of the result, Sophorn, president of Cambodian Association of Illinois, said many in the community had expressed concerns over the future of the country.
“Some people in my community are worried about their safety, because Mr. Trump promised to his supporters during the campaign that he would take bold actions against the immigrants,” he said.
He added that he sees Trump as holding a disdain for democracy and human rights and posing a danger to world order.
But not all Cambodian Americans were frustrated with Trump’s victory.
Sek Kosol, a Cambodian-American community activist based in St Paul, MN, told VOA that Trump embodied the change the American people desire.
“It [the election result] sent a strong message to the current administration that people need change, and they chose to change,” said Kosol.
He voted for a third-party candidate, and said that Trump would be held to the same checks and balances as every president before him.
“Though some community members are facing deportation, we are not worried, because they were here legally, and that the rule of law will be applied to their cases.”