Fear in immigrant communities started to build long before the 2016 presidential election, amid Donald J. Trump’s promises to increase deportations dramatically if he won. Although Trump’s policy positions have sometimes shifted—is he planning to ban Muslims, or not?— this core tenet has stayed constant. As the country marches towards the inevitability of January 20, 2017, and Trump’s assumption of the presidential mantle, immigrants are scrambling to prepare for an enforcement onslaught.
Americans differ over whether Trump’s immigration stance will help or hurt the United States. It also remains to be seen how swift and strong his “deportation force” will be. But there is one group in particular that sees economic benefits from any crackdown: people who prey on immigrants by offering shoddy or nonexistent legal “services.
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