Muscatine resource center advising local immigrants not to travel outside of U.S. until further notice

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MUSCATINE, Iowa-- Graciela Anguiano came to the United States from Mexico back in 1974 to make a better life for her family.

"As a permanent resident, I am concerned because of what the President has done," says Anguiano.

Even though Mexico is not one of the seven countries included in President Donald Trump's proposed immigration ban, Graciela fears for her future.

"I now have stress due to this concern and worry just not knowing what's going to happen next," says Anguiano.

Anguiano is a legal permanent U.S. resident, not a U.S. citizen. Legal permanent residents have the right to live in the country indefinitely, but they cannot vote in elections.

But Anguiano's daughter is a U.S. citizen. She serves in the U.S. Army.

Anguiano is worried if she were to travel to Mexico, she would never see her daughter again.

"I have my children here in the U.S. who are U.S. citizens that if I go back to Mexico that I won't be able to see them anymore because I won't be able to come back," says Anguiano.

Rosa Mendoza is the director at the Diversity Service Center in Iowa.

"We have received numerous calls since the executive order has been signed," says Mendoza.

Mendoza says the center has also seen a spike in people applying for citizenship. So far this year, they have helped with eight applications. Mendoza says in a typical year, they help with no more than 15.

Mendoza says Anguiano isn't the only one she's heard from with fears about traveling outside of the U.S.

"If there is no urgency to travel right now, just wait until we find out more about the executive order. We don't want anyone to risk their rights," says Mendoza.

It's a risk Anguiano isn't willing to take.

If you or anyone you know has questions about immigration or travel bans, call the Diversity Service Center at 563-264-8883.

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