WASHINGTON TIMES — After years of increasing comfort with their status in the U.S., illegal immigrants say they’re being chased back into the shadows, and they blame Donald Trump.
The GOP presidential front-runner put immigration back at the top of the political conversation in June when he announced his campaign, blaming Mexico for sending some of its worst elements to the U.S. And the issue has remained at the top ever since, propelling Mr. Trump and renewing a national conversation that immigrant rights advocates had thought they’d won.
Now states such as Arizona are renewing their own efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants, and Mr. Trump has spawned a new fear among mixed-status families — those with some members here legally and some not — about coming forward to tell their stories.
Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, said he went seeking permission of illegal immigrants to tell their stories during a House floor debate last week over President Obama’s deportation amnesty, but families who usually are eager to have their stories told balked this time.
“In the past, it has always been very customary that they have said, ‘Yes. If it will help to share my story, please share it with the American people,’” Mr. Polis told his colleagues. “When I asked over the last few days, and when my staff asked, there were many families who said ‘no’ to having their stories told on the House floor.”
Immigrant rights activists even have a name for it: They call it the “Trump Effect.”