Immigrants worry about upcoming rallies in Middle Tennessee

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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Shelbyville has a diverse population, and organizers say that is part of the reason why these groups are coming to Middle Tennessee.

In a town of 21,000, there is a melting pot of people.

“It seems to be growing little by little each year. We have more and more people coming from other states,” said one woman who moved to the United States from Mexico several years ago.

Before now, Claudia Orozco said she always felt welcome in Shelbyville.

“Down here is a small town and everybody knows everyone. You can walk in the streets and say hi, they wave to you,” said Orozco.

However, this weekend’s rally puts her and many others on edge.

“Being from Mexico, it worries me. It does worry me. I want to stay away from them as much as possible cause what I believe if you go along with what they are doing, it makes things worse,” added Orozco.

Many others agree.

Out of the more 20,000 people in Shelbyville, a fifth of them are Hispanic, and many News 2 spoke with say they feel like this weekend’s rally makes them a target.

MORE: City of Shelbyville preparing for white nationalist rally, counter protests

A block from where the rally is happening is one of the most diverse communities in Shelbyville.

“This is a great neighborhood to live in, its all peaceful. We don’t have a lot of bad happening here,” said one resident.MORE: Events canceled, roads closed due to white nationalist rallies Saturday

Shawn Hill lives in the apartment complex and feels sorry for the refugees who came to Shelbyville for a better life and now have become a target for the rally.

“I don’t understand why. They’ve already had enough problems,” said Hill.

Being so close to his home, he worries what might happen.

“To me, I feel like all lives matter so I pretty much go with the flow,” he told News 2.

Hill hopes those coming will rally peacefully and then move on from his hometown.

“People have their choices, I just hope it all turns out better,” he said.

Like many other businesses in Shelbyville, the supermarket plans to close for a few hours on Saturday so everyone will be safe.

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