Sandra Cisneros moved to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico three years ago, where she observed President Donald Trump’s rise from the other side of the border.
The Chicago-born author of The House on Mango Street has always been an important figure in the Chicano community, and she recently spoke with Univision about Trump, how he’s portrayed Mexicans and the recent uptick of deportations by his administration.
Cisneros recounted witnessing first hand the Civil Rights movement unfold as a young girl. And the author expected the Latino community to be in a better place by 2017.
“It gives me chills because I grew up seeing the progress we made as a people and I thought we would improve,” she told the news site in Spanish. “But this year we’ve been demonized: I never thought we would reach a point where ‘Mexican’ would be a bad word.”
The Chicana author also said Trump is “a man who behaves like a 15-year-old” and that his administration’s recent immigration initiatives, which have resulted in separating families via deportation, are cruel.
“I think one of the most horrible things we’ve seen is the possibility of losing your family, a member of your family,” Cisneros told Univision in reference to recent deportations. “I think the destruction of families is something barbaric we haven’t seen since the time of concentration camps.” she added. “I think it’s a savage thing.”
In 2015, Cisneros also criticized Trump for his temperament a few months after he announced his presidential campaign.
“I think Donald Trump is a very frightened man because anyone who is frightened has to bluster and yell and shout,” she told Fox News Latino. “And people who are wise and visionary don’t need to raise their voice and be Mr. Macho.”
Read Cisnero’s full interview with Univision, in Spanish, here.