Ohio undocumented immigrants fear deportation under Trump presidency

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to remove millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States. Now that he’s headed to the White House, immigrants are worried about what’s next for them.

“Am I going to be deported?” is a serious and scary question on the minds of many today.

“Am I going to be here all by myself with my kids and who is going to come in and help me? Nobody,” said a woman whose husband is undocumented.

She asked NBC4 to hide her identity and to refer to her as Maria. She said her husband and three kids have lived here in the U.S. for 24 years. Her youngest son is 5 years old. Maria said she’s worried her husband will be deported to Mexico, her family torn apart.

“We don’t know nothing in Mexico. What happens when everybody goes back? We don’t have a home. We don’t have a family over there,” she said.

Her family came to the Ohio Hispanic Coalition for help.

“We are thinking that we are living in a warzone. That’s how we are feeling,” said Josue Vicente, executive director of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition. “We have to defend ourselves. We have to watch over our shoulders.”

Vicente said they’re worried Trump will forcibly deport undocumented families, who’ve lived in the United States for years.

“They are afraid,” he said. “We’re expecting to have a lot of civil rights, human rights violated, so that’s the biggest worry that we have at this time.”

Meanwhile, Maria said her children are dealing with a lot of racism and bullying. She said she doesn’t want to have to hear her kids crying and afraid to go to school.

“A kid told my son, ‘You’re Mexican. You’re a fat Mexican. You need to go back to Mexico,’” she said. “My kids are American citizens too. They are supposed to have the same [rights] and be equal with all of the other people.”

Maria’s fear about her family being ripped apart is something Nora Yepez-Ornelas has lived.

“My father was deported when I was 13,” said Yepez-Ornelas. “It breaks families up and there’s children that lose their parents at an even younger age and are left without parents, without a mother or a father.”

She said many undocumented immigrants consider the U.S. their only home and would be lost anywhere else.

“This is the time to unite. This is the time to understand each other. This is the time to support each other,” she said.  “This is the time to love each other.”

Immigration attorney John Bell said Trump’s plan to revoke DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) would be devastating, especially to young families or children who know America as their only home.

“How do you plan to carry out this campaign promise that seems impractical at best?” said Bell.

On his website outlining his immigration reform plan, Trump talks about moving criminal aliens out on day one of his presidency. He also states that anyone who enters the U.S. “illegally” is subject to deportation.

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