Fearing deportation, Houston's undocumented immigrants improvise storm survival strategies

Pablo writes, "In Houston, half-a-million undocumented immigrants, many of them victims of Hurricane Harvey, fear seeking help from state and federal relief efforts."

When the state is passing laws empowering cops to report migrants to immigration authorities and the president took office on a white nationalist ticket that explicitly called migrants terrorists, rapists and murderers, even parents of young children fear going to shelters or seeking other assistance.

Shelters say migrants have nothing to fear, but many haven't heard the message and others just don't believe it. When the president unilaterally enacts policies like the Muslim ban, the military transgender ban, and cancelling DACA, it's easy to see why migrants might fear that shelter operators would come under unpredictable, sudden pressure to turn them over.

Construction executives and "Hispanic Republicans" who haven't figured out that the GOP is now a white ethno-nationalist party have asked the president to moderate his behavior so that people don't die and so that there are workers to rebuild Houston. They will be disappointed, and will then forgive the president in the hopes that he will give them a tax break, which they will use to support other white ethno-nationalists while they try not to think of the children who lost their lives thanks to Trump's unlimited cruelty.

As rescue efforts turned to recovery, prominent Hispanic Republicans and construction executives urged the Trump administration on Friday not to repeal a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which provides temporary work authorization to young immigrants.

More than 26,000 in the Houston area have such permits and many live in the neighborhoods hardest-hit by Harvey, said Artemio "Temo" Muniz, a Republican strategist in Houston who is chairman of the Federation of Hispanic Republicans.

"This would be a devastating double-whammy not only for them, but for our region," Muniz said. "We are going to need local talent to reconstruct Houston."

He pointed to immigrants like Contreras, the 23-year-old paramedic from Montgomery County who worked throughout the disaster performing emergency aid. Without the permit, he would lose his job. Lucia Guerrero, a young immigrant from Mexico who lives south of Pearland, is a certified dialysis technician who wouldn't be able to provide such critical care without the permit.

Ending the program would create a "new humanitarian disaster on top of the existing humanitarian disaster," warned America's Voice, an immigrant advocacy group in Washington.

Fearing deportation, immigrant flood victims make do on their own
[Lomi Kriel/Houston Chronicle]

(Image: Trump's Hair)

(Thanks, Pablo!)