(CNN)The United States has a long and proud history as an immigrant nation. But those communities have been left paralyzed by fear following President Donald Trump’s sweeping immigration reforms.
Talk of a border wall with Mexico coupled with legal challenges to the President’s executive actions on immigration and a rise in hate crimes post-election, have left many feeling like outsiders in a country they once wholeheartedly embraced.
Now with federal agents scooping up hundreds in a series of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations, immigrants — here legally, some with American citizenship — reveal what it’s like to live in limbo and become marginalized with the flick of a pen.
… trying to act American
Meanwhile for others, the temporary restrictions have left them wandering what the long-term effects might be.
Mother to three children born in the US, Janet Olawoye is an immigrant from Nigeria. She and her husband have both become US citizens.
Since Trump’s inauguration, she has grown increasingly concerned that the children of immigrants will be subjected to scrutiny at school over subjects like their traditional names.
Additionally, she said that one of her kids has already come home asking questions if they are returning to Africa after being asked the same question at school.
She added: “We’re the adults, we can handle ourselves, but it’s the kids, the next generation of immigrants, those are the people that I’m afraid for.”