MANHATTAN – A stark realization within certain segments of New York City’s immigrant community is that life in the Trump administration will be rife with uncertainty.
“I cannot plan anything more than two weeks ahead,” said Larry, who asked that PIX11 News conceal his identity. “Because at any moment, I believe that the immigration officers.”
He said he’s terrified that the way the Trump administration enforces its immigration policies will ultimately lead to his deportation back to his home in the Caribbean. And that fear stems from a more than 15-year-old white collar federal fraud conviction.
“I served three years for that,” he said.
Larry lost his green card and spent two years in a federal immigration detention center. Since his release more than a decade ago, he’s devoted his life to advocating for other immigrants, including those who have criminal records.
Larry is now married, has a daughter and continues to make regular check-ins with immigration officials while he appeals his case.
When asked if he has seen those officials since Trump has been elected, he said no but he has a meeting with them in March.
“We are absolutely terrified,” Larry said. “My wife, my friends, my attorney.”
That is because Larry, like so many other immigrants across the country, have watched as Trump authorized immigration enforcement actions and swept up immigrants with minor or non-violent offenses on their record alongside hardened criminals.
Administration officials make no apologies.
“It is true the Operation Cross-Check is something that happens every year,” said Stephen Miller, White House senior policy adviser. “But this year we have taken new and greater steps to remove criminal aliens from our communities.”
All eyes are currently on a high-profile case in Arizona, where a working immigrant wife and mother, arrested years ago for using a false social security number, walked into an immigration center for her regular check-in and never came out. She’s now being deported.