Immigrants fearing deportation under Trump change routines, won't even go outside

FOX 32 NEWS - There is now fear and isolation in some of Chicago’s Mexican communities.

Some people are afraid of being deported, so they are staying inside.

Busy neighborhoods like Pilsen and Little Village have been quiet as of late, and normally bustling shops are virtually empty.

Many residents are fearful of being deported under the president's planned immigration order.

FOX 32 spoke with a mother of four who is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. She’s been in the United States since she was a toddler. Her greatest fear under President Donald Trump is being ripped away from her children. 

Juana has been living in the United States for 27 years. Under President Trump's looming deportation rule changes, there's growing fear in the undocumented communities of more expulsions from the country. 

"We're all thinking the worst at this point. Because we don't know what's going to happen,” Juana said.

Juana's family hears the rumors and rumblings in her neighborhood just outside of Chicago.

"We've just heard that nearby that there's been people that have already gotten deported from being at the store and stuff like that. So it's scary to just go out to the store and not know,” Juana said.

A mother of four and a devout Catholic, her family prays they will not be separated.

"I don't know how Mexico is, we don't have nothing to go to there. All my life I've been here. Everything I know is here. All my kids have ever known is here,” Juana said.

Juana’s children are all American citizens. If she is ever detained, she isn't sure who will get custody of her children.

However, she hopes and prays for a better outcome.

Juana is working with immigration attorneys hoping to get deferred status. Many know it as DACA. That means she would be allowed to stay temporarily and work without fear of deportation for two years.

It’s still unclear how the current administration will handle that program going forward.

In at least one Chicago neighborhood, some also fear the immigration crackdown could end up deporting dollars.

Irma Lagunas drove five hours from Iowa City to 26th Street in Little Village to do some business and buy lots of Mexican-style products.

With more than a thousand businesses -- many founded and run by immigrants -- and more than a billion dollars in annual sales, Little Village sends more sales tax to city hall than any other Chicago shopping district, except North Michigan Avenue.

But local leaders say, despite the recent warm weather, a looming crackdown on unauthorized immigrants has put a chill in the air.

“We see people, they don't want to come out. Everybody’s a little afraid to shop or spend money. Because they don't know when, when they're going to have to go,” jewelry store owner Silvia Restrepo said.

“They're scaring the hell out of people. And people aren't going shopping,” said Alderman Ricardo Munoz. “People are just afraid that ‘there might be a raid’ just because this knucklehead president keeps talking like that.”

Despite Mayor Emanuel’s repeated talk of Chicago as a "Sanctuary City," FOX 32 talked to lots of unauthorized immigrants who are skeptical. They don't believe city hall could stop federal agents determined to make arrests here.

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