Largely concentrated in Mexican-American growth in Port Richmond, the Hispanic population in Staten Island increased between 2000 and 2010. That rise has created the sort of polarized tensions associated more often with rural or small-town America than with ethnically diverse urban centers. “This is the location where we’ve seen the most concentrated levels of fear,” said Amy Taylor, legal director of Make the Road New York, a nonprofit that works with Latino communities. “It’s an area where there is a lot of discriminatory policing, a lot of anti-immigrant rhetoric.”
Taylor from Make the Road New York says the power of the climate of uncertainty that Trump has created has made it much harder to reassure parents like Estela and Yolanda. “When advising clients with families, we used to be able to tell them what was safe and what wasn’t … we don’t know anymore. People will come in and say they have a neighbor threatening to call ICE. Well, we used to tell them not to worry. We’d say that’s not how enforcement works. We can’t say that anymore. We just don’t know.”
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