GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Executive orders signed by President Donald Trump Wednesday cracking down on undocumented immigrants has sent a shot of fear in those living in the country illegally.
The orders, which in part start the process of building a border wall and penalize sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants, leave many wondering what the future holds for them.
“I can’t understand how come in a first world country we are letting ignorance prevail,” said one man, who won’t be identified because he is undocumented.
The man came to the country on a work visa, which expired several years ago. He decided to stay with his wife and son, who was born in the U.S., to build a better life and have better opportunities.
He currently works 50 hours a week, and still pays taxes thought his employer.
“I’ve never thought of losing everything, you know, and I don’t know what would I do,” he said.
Juvencio Rocha Peralta works with the Hispanic community in the East, as the director of Amexcan.
He said during the election, immigrants were portrayed as criminals who do nothing positive for society. But for the thousands he works with, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“It’s not fair for the immigrant community to be used as a way to get elected,” Peralta said.
Peralta snuck across the border when he was 16 years old. He later would become a U.S. citizen, a process he said took about five years.
He said the current immigration system doesn’t allow equal opportunities for those seeking citizenship.
Following the executive orders, Peralta had a lot of questions about how the border wall, which estimated will cost billions of dollars, will work.
“How is he going to build this wall? Is he going to tax Mexico? Mexico isn’t going to pay for it. Is he going to tax me,” Peralta asked.
Peralta said by having a mass deportation, the construction and agricultural industries in the East could be crippled. He said a lot of comments about undocumented immigrants come from ignorance.