Uneasy for Immigrants in Texas. Then the Rains Came.
New York Times, August 30, 2017, page 1:
HOUSTON — This has been a harrowing year for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who have put down stakes in Houston.
Stepped-up enforcement of immigration measures put many on edge over deportations, while Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed one of the nation’s most punitive laws against cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. President Trump has amplified his harsh line on illegal immigration and renewed his promise to build a border wall.
Then came the chaos of Hurricane Harvey.
Families among Houston’s estimated 600,000 undocumented immigrants – the largest number of any city in the United States except New York and Los Angeles, according to the Pew Research Center – fled their homes to escape the flooding despite their anxiety over being turned away at shelters or facing hostile immigration agents.
“People were telling each other that the immigration men were coming to check our papers,” said Eloy González, 40, a truck driver who made it to the sprawling shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center. All he had were the drenched clothes he was wearing when he escaped the flooding in Pasadena, a suburb of Houston where thousands of immigrants live in the shadow of oil refineries.
“The rumors are false but the fear is still there,” said Mr. González, an immigrant from northern Mexico, emphasizing that he was one of the “lucky ones” who is legally in the United States.