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trump executive action on deportationsresponse to trump executive actions | 1:00

representatives from puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights talk to families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration. nick oza/azcentral.com

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trump executive action on deportationstrump executive actions anger local activists | 1:53

local activists voice their opinions about president donald trump's executive actions. michael chow/azcentral.com

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trump executive action on deportationshere's what trump's executive orders on immigration, border wall do | 1:12

the two executive orders contain multiple provisions, including the creation of 15,000 new jobs. video provided by newsy newslook

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trump executive action on deportationshow executive orders work | 0:59

president trump is wasting no time wielding his presidential pen. here's what you should know about executive orders. usa today network

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  • response to trump executive actions

    response to trump executive actions

  • trump executive actions anger local activists

    trump executive actions anger local activists

  • here's what trump's executive orders on immigration, border wall do

    here's what trump's executive orders on immigration, border wall do

  • how executive orders work

    how executive orders work

border

uncertainty has plagued the arizonans most likely to be affected by president donald's trump executive orders calling for a boost in deportations, thousands of new immigration-enforcement agents and the immediate construction of a u.s.-mexico border wall.(p o: nick oza/the republic)

story highlights

  • on jan. 25, trump signed a pair of executive orders calling for a boost in deportations, thousands of new immigration-enforcement agents and immediate construction of a u.s.-mexico border wall
  • since then, uncertainty has plagued the arizonans most likely to be affected by the orders
  • some undocumented immigrants are attempting to leave the country; others are paying to expedite applications for deferred-action status; and a handful are paralyzed by indecision

for months, immigrants and border-town residents watched as donald trump captivated audience after audience at paign rallies.

they heard chants of "build that wall!"

they saw headlines on his vows of "no amnesty."

and after trump was elected, they weighed rumors against experience and wondered whether he would follow through.

less than a week after the president's inauguration, they got their answer: trump on jan. 25 signed executive orders calling for a boost in deportations, thousands of new immigration-enforcement agents and immediate construction of a u.s.-mexico border wall.

almost immediately, it seemed, the country erupted in a mix of outrage and applause.

trump's supporters were energized by what they saw as evidence their candidate would deliver the national-security crackdown he'd promised.

that confidence was bolstered two days later, when trump issued a travel ban temporarily barring entry to refugees and citizens of seven muslim-majority countries.

but in arizona, a quiet uncertainty had settled over those who had entered without papers, overstayed their visas, begun asylum or deportation proceedings or long relied on an accessible border for work.

though a federal judge issued a ruling halting trump’s travel ban, the executive orders aimed at the country’s southern border remained in effect.

arizona republic reporters attended community meetings, visited border businesses and observed legal consultations to gauge how those most likely to be affected by those orders were responding.

related: will local police help on deportation orders?

some were already attempting to leave the country. others were paying to expedite applications for deferred-action status. a handful seemed paralyzed by indecision.

but all shared the same doubt: "what will happen to me now?"

easy targets

carlos garcia of puente arizona talks on jan. 25, 2017,

carlos garcia of puente arizona talks on jan. 25, 2017, to people concerned about president donald trump's executive orders.

 (p o: nick oza/the republic)

organizers with migrant-rights group puente arizona heard countless variations of that question in the week after trump's executive actions.

“how is ice (immigration and customs enforcement) going to find me?”

"will the police be working with immigration authorities?"

"does trump also want to deport legal immigrants?"

"what if immigration agents come to my house?"

at first, executive director carlos garcia, a longtime activist, was short on answers.

"we’ll wait and see,” he told about 45 immigrants at a hastily called gathering at the group's headquarters the day trump issued his orders.

trump actions on immigration

  • how many mexicans cross illegally?
  • deportation plan brings relief, worry
  • phoenix activists: 'you're not alone'
  • will police help with deportations?
  • little appetite at az police agencies
  • cities unprepared for m deportations
  • quiz: test your immigration knowledge
  • full coverage
  • garcia said he didn't yet know how local law-enforcement agencies would proceed.

    community leader reyna montoya asked attendees how they felt after hearing the news.

    sad, they said. angry. terrible. powerless.

    a woman in the audience, who declined to identify herself given a pending deportation order, began to cry as she described "living in the shadows."

    she'd canceled her phone service, stopped going to work and tried to avoid leaving the house, she said.

    another undocumented woman, 50-year-old maricruz ramirez, wondered how to explain trump's actions to her children.

    her son and two daughters had been arrested at immigration rallies, making them an "easy target for deportation," she said.

    “we are here to get informed. it's a fear of not knowing ... who could show up at your door in the next day or next week or next month.”

    rosa garcia, wife of undocumented immigrant

    anxious, too, was mexican immigrant juana torres, a 46-year-old caught at the border in 2012 who is now seeking asylum.

    when her 18-year-old son, a u.s. citizen, turns 21, he'll be able to apply for a green card on torres' behalf. but it might be too late, she said.

    by monday, garcia had more to tell the 50 or so immigrants who showed up at puente's headquarters.

    don’t open the door if an immigration agent comes to your house, he said.

    don’t answer any questions, and don’t sign anything.

    prepare a “defense plan” in case you are arrested by immigration agents.

    as garcia explained how trump would likely have to persuade congress to allocate additional funding to execute his plans, a young couple listening in the back.

    rosa garcia, 22, is a u.s. citizen, she said, but her husband, 23-year-old jose perez, is not.

    related: border cities unprepared for m deportations

    perez crossed over from mexico when he was 4, he said, and lost a temporary deportation deferment he received through president barack obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals (daca) program.

    "we are here to get informed," rosa garcia said. “it’s a fear of not knowing ... who could show up at your door in the next day or next week or next month."

    bob davis, with his daughter, penelope, 4, both of

    bob davis, with his daughter, penelope, 4, both of phoenix, protests at phoenix city hall on jan. 26, 2017, and urges mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix from becoming a place of m deportations after president donald trump signed executive orders on border security and immigration enforcement. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    protesters urge mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix

    protesters on jan. 26, 2017, urge mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix from becoming a place of m deportations. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    protesters urge mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix

    protesters on jan. 26, 2017, urge mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix from becoming a place of m deportations. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    protesters urge mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix

    protesters urge mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix from becoming a place of m deportations. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    pilar muzante, of laveen, protests at phoenix city

    pilar muzante of laveen protests at phoenix city hall on jan. 26, 2017. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    francisca porchas, dir. of puente, speaks during a

    francisca porchas, director of puente arizona, speaks during a protest at phoenix city hall on jan. 26, 2017, urging mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix from becoming a place of m deportations after president donald trump signed executive orders on border security and immigration enforcement. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    puente organizer, isela meraz, protests at phoenix

    puente arizona organizer isela meraz protests at phoenix city hall. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    patrick heisler, of glendale, protests at phoenix

    patrick heisler of glendale protests at phoenix city hall. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    patrick heisler, of glendale, left, protests at phoenix

    patrick heisler (left) of glendale protests at phoenix city hall. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    bob davis and his daughter, penelope, 4, of phoenix,

    bob davis, with his daughter, penelope, 4, both of phoenix, protests at phoenix city hall on jan. 26, 2017, and urges mayor greg stanton to keep phoenix from becoming a place of m deportations after president donald trump signed executive orders on border security and immigration enforcement. 

    cheryl evans/the republic
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    ariana hill from phoenix holds a sign during a press

    ariana hill from phoenix holds a sign during a press conference at steele indian school park in phoenix on jan. 25, 2017. the group of activists was speaking against president donald trump's executive actions. 

    michael chow/the republic
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    petra falcon from promise arizona speaks during a press

    petra falcon from promise arizona speaks during a press conference at steele indian school park in phoenix on jan. 25, 2017. the group of activists was speaking against president donald trump's executive actions. 

    michael chow/the republic
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    amy mcmullen speaks during a press conference at steele

    amy mcmullen speaks during a press conference at steele indian school park in phoenix on jan. 25, 2017. the group of activists gathered to voice their concerns against president donald trump's executive actions. 

    michael chow/the republic
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    diane ovalle of puente arizona - gr roots organizing

    diane ovalle of puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights talks to families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration on jan. 25, 2017. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    tichi abundes, 37, undocumented immigrant from mexico

    tichi abundes, 37, an undocumented immigrant from mexico, attends a puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights gathering on jan. 25, 2017, and listens with other families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    carlos garcia of puente arizona - gr roots organizing

    families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration attend a puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights gathering on jan. 25, 2017. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    carlos garcia of puente arizona - gr roots organizing

    carlos garcia of puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights talks to families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    undocumented immigrant uvaldo lopez, 39, from puebla,

    undocumented immigrant uvaldo lopez, 39, from puebla, mexico, listens to representatives from puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights talk to families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration. lopez said, "i'm scared because of my daughter ... who qualifies for deferred action." 

    nick oza/the republic
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    puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights

    puente arizona-gr roots organizing for human rights representatives talk to families who are directly impacted by president donald trump's announcement on immigration on jan. 25, 2017. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    'prepare yourself'

    late tuesday afternoon, there were twice as many clients in the lobby of daniel rodriguez's phoenix law office as there were seats. all clients were undocumented.

    the petite woman who snagged the last chair turned to the mother and daughter sitting beside her. "have you met with him before?" she asked in spanish.

    "no, it's our first time," the mother said.

    "i have. he's a good lawyer," said a young woman filling out a form at the front desk. "he was a daca recipient before he started doing immigration work."

    the door to a small conference room opened, and another client emerged. she had arrived that afternoon terrified, requesting advice on moving to canada, rodriguez later told the republic.

    related: police show little appetite for immigration order

    rodriguez called the name of the next client. the mother and daughter rose.

    the teenager was a u.s. citizen, but her mom had come to the u.s. from mexico at 13 and overstayed her visa.

    "the good news is, you qualify for daca," rodriguez told the mother, scribbling the details of her case on the back of an intake form. "but i have to warn you that we don't know what's going to happen with that program now.

    "what i think is going to happen is that the president will say, 'if you already have daca status or if you're already in the process, ok. but from here on, we're not going to accept new applications,'" he said. "but if he announces he's going to get rid of daca entirely, and you've submitted an application, you're going to lose the money you paid me, you're going to lose the money you paid the government, and we'll have to move to the next option."

    the following client — who had a 2011 deportation order against her and was denied asylum — had only one option, according to rodriguez.

    "prepare yourself," he told her.

    related: how 'dreamers' are preparing in case daca ends

    for the past few years, immigration officials had required the woman to check in annually but allowed her to remain in the country.

    "honestly, this time, be ready for them to say, 'this is as far as it goes' and deport you," rodriguez said. "i don't want you to go in there that day and be surprised."

    the last client, a young man, had daca status. he wanted to apply for "a nce parole," which allows daca recipients to travel outside the u.s.

    "technically, the daca policies haven't changed," rodriguez told him. "what has changed is the political environment.

    "if you're outside of the u.s. and they get rid of this program, you run the risk of not being able to get back in. and even if they don't get rid of this program, immigration agents could decide ... they're not letting you in," he said.

    "i want you to know that the risk is very, very high."

    u.s. customs and border protection released decisions

    u.s. customs and border protection released decisions in the first four use-of-force cases examined by a new review board formed to look into agent shootings and force incidents that lead to serious injury or death. 

    david wallace/the republic
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    border patrol agent marcos soto monitors with high

    border patrol agent marcos soto monitors with high tech security eras to keep an eye on united states border at one of remote locations. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    this may 1, 2015 p o shows an aerial view of the

    this may 1, 2015 p o shows an aerial view of the united states-mexico border showing calexico, california below and mexicali, mexico above.the u.s. justice department issued a scathing review may 18, 2016, of calexico's police practices in a big drug and immigrant smuggling corridor on california's border with mexico. the justice department found a lack of basic controls and oversight of criminal investigations, unstable leadership and other red flags. 

    gregory bull/the ociated press
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    arizona border rancher dan bell ranches 35,000 acres

    arizona border rancher dan bell ranches 35,000 acres near united states-mexico border. bell said, at some spots, it's difficult to build the wall because of rugged terrain. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    arizona border rancher dan bell and other ranchers

    arizona border rancher dan bell and other ranchers want all the politicians to come and visit the border to understand the complexity. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    at a press conference, arizona governor doug ducey

    at a press conference, arizona governor doug ducey talks about confiscated drugs from the arizona border, after he address a need of federal help to stop narcotics trafficking at arizona state capitol on nov. 23, 2015. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    border patrol agent cesar gongalez talks to sixth and

    border patrol agent cesar gongalez talks to sixth and seventh graders about how drug cartels smuggle drugs, during one of their education programs at paul huber middle school in douglas, arizona. gongalez is trying to deter juveniles from getting involved with drug or human smuggling. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    a view of the douglas port of entry. drug and human

    a view of the douglas port of entry. drug and human smuggling is a a significant problem. cartels even hire kids to transport drugs because when they get caught often nothing serious happens to them. most children end up getting sentenced to state prison. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    custom border patrol stops rancher dan bell for questioning

    custom border patrol stops rancher dan bell for questioning and asked for id's. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    a u.s. border patrol agent checks a central american

    a u.s. border patrol agent checks a central american migrant's documents on dec. 8, 2015 near rio grande city, texas. a group of immigrants had just illegally crossed the united states-mexico border into texas to seek asylum in the united states. the number of migrant families and unaccompanied minors has again surged in recent months, even as the total number of illegal crossings nationwide has gone down over the previous year. 

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    the mariposa land port of entry is one of the busiest

    the mariposa land port of entry is one of the busiest in the u.s. for fresh produce. state elected officials have frequently been discussing the arizona-mexico border as an economic engine. 

    nick oza/the republic
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    air interdiction agent will brazelton pilots the "predator

    air interdiction agent will brazelton pilots the "predator b" unmanned aircraft from the ground control station at the fort huachuca base in sierra vista. the customs and border protection drones do surveillance along the united states-mexico border. the drone was on a surveillance mission on the u.s. border with mexico. 

    david wallace/the republic
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    in 2014, about 105,000 acre-feet of water was released

    in 2014, about 105,000 acre-feet of water was released into the colorado river from the morelos dam at the arizona-mexico border. 

    mark henle/the republic
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    u.s. border patrol agent nicole ballistrea watches

    u.s. border patrol agent nicole ballistrea watches over the united states-mexico border fence on dec. 9, 2014 in nogales, arizona. 

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    u.s. border patrol agents talk next to the united states-mexico

    u.s. border patrol agents talk next to the united states-mexico border fence on dec. 9, 2014, near nogales, arizona. 

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    in 2010, a vehicle from the us border patrol patrols

    in 2010, a vehicle from the us border patrol patrols the border fence near near south border monument road located south of sierra vista, arizona and west of bisbee, arizona. 

    carlos chavez/the republic
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    a man walks past the painted border fence in agua prieta,

    a man walks past the painted border fence in agua prieta, mexico. 

    courtney pedroza
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    nogales, sonora (left) is separated from nogales, ariz.

    nogales, sonora (left) is separated from nogales, ariz. (right) by the border fence, on march 28, 2016. 

    cronkite news
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    people walk near the border crossing in ciudad juárez,

    people walk near the border crossing in ciudad juárez, chihuahua to el paso, texas. 

    courtney pedroza/cronkite news
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    the morley gate border station is a nogales port of

    the morley gate border station is a nogales port of entry for pedestrians crossing into the u.s. 

    zach quinn/cronkite news
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    purple graffiti with the words “justice for jose antonio!”

    purple graffiti with the words “justice for jose antonio!” marks part of the border fence on the mexico side in 2015. 

    alicia clark/cronkite news
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    pedestrians cross the border in san ysidro, calif.

    pedestrians cross the border in san ysidro, calif. 

    carla leon/cronkite news
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    a pedestrian crossing in san ysidro, calif., allows

    a pedestrian crossing in san ysidro, calif., allows mexican border officials to enforce new rules at this border point of entry in 2015. 

    carla leon/cronkite news
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    carlos santa cruz, a landscaper who lives near the

    carlos santa cruz, a landscaper who lives near the wall in nogales, stands in front of the border wall on jan. 25, 2016. 

    josh orcutt/cronkite news
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    a look at the border wall between the united states

    a look at the border wall between the united states and mexico in nogales on jan. 25, 2017. 

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    a general view a cross on the united states and mexico

    a general view a cross on the united states and mexico border wall in nogales on jan. 25, 2017. 

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    a look at the border wall between the united states

    a look at the border wall between the united states and mexico in nogales on jan. 25, 2017. 

    josh orcutt/cronkite news
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    a border patrol agent in his truck looks over the current

    a border patrol agent in his truck looks over the current border wall between the united states and mexico in nogales on jan. 25, 2017. 

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    a close-up of the u.s. and mexico border wall in nogales

    a close-up of the u.s. and mexico border wall in nogales on jan. 25, 2017. 

    taylor rearick/cronkite news
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    deserted shops

    u.s. citizens whose jobs depend on smooth border crossings perceived a heightened risk as well.

    daniel navarro — who lives with his family in nogales, sonora, but works at paradise fashion in nogales, arizona — said he'd already seen wait times grow on his daily commute.

    he's concerned trump’s administration will implement even stricter rules, he said, making it tougher and more time-consuming for him to cross.

    “on average, i come about an hour or an hour and a half before (work), precisely because you don’t know if (border officials) will take their time,” navarro said.

    lately, navarro spends much of his workday waiting, too. waiting for the mexican customers who keep the shop afloat to arrive in droves like they used to. waiting for shoppers to buy as much women's clothing, perfume and accessories as they used to.

    “people are scared. i hope things get better, but i don’t think they will.”

    daniel navarro, paradise fashion employee

    “before, we were completely full in the store. there were so many people you didn’t know whether to help one person or another,” he said. “today, we don’t see that anymore. people only come and buy one thing.”

    navarro's customers are quick to tell him why, he said. they complain about unfavorable exchange rates, soaring food and gas prices in mexico, and uncertainty about trump.

    navarro might not have a job for much longer if things don't pick up.

    “people are scared,” navarro said, after isting one of three customers in the shop. “i hope things get better, but i don’t think they will.”

    rebecca castaneda, manager of chi's store in downtown nogales, was similarly discouraged.

    the rio rico woman for 21 years has worked at chi's, which sells jackets, flowers, trinkets and other items to wholesale shoppers from mexico.

    during good times, she said, the store posted $10,000 to $15,000 in monthly sales. now, they range from $2,000 to $3,000.

    "(the owner) told me he’d never thought he’d close his store. but now with trump, he thinks he’ll have to close," she said. "i think ... (mexican shoppers) are going to stop coming across.”

    castaneda said the shop previously employed five workers in addition to her and the owner. support staff is down to two part-time workers now.

    “we’re just like, ‘what are we going to do?’ ” she said.

    promises kept

    president donald trump speaks at a paign rally in

    president donald trump speaks at a paign rally in phoenix on october 29, 2016.

     (p o: patrick breen/the republic)

    not everyone was rattled by trump's recent immigration-enforcement moves. if anything, supporters were eager for him to pick up the pace.

    “that’s why he got elected. he needs to respond and do what people elected him for.”

    rosa moreno-hillburn, prescott resident

    prescott resident rosa moreno-hillburn, for instance, said she agrees "with everything (trump) is doing."

    "that’s why he got elected,” said the 62-year-old real-estate stager, who e to arizona from mexico in 1969 as an exchange student. “he needs to respond and do what people elected him for.”

    the day trump issued his executive orders, moreno-hillburn had fox news on in the background when an alert made her look up at the screen.

    “all right!” she remembered exclaiming.

    “this is the land of immigrants, but do it right," she told the republic. "get in line and do it properly. then you become a citizen.”

    related: is this a new low in u.s.-mexico relations?

    clifton swann, a 41-year-old from peoria, isn't an immigrant. but given the united states' increasingly rocky relationship with mexico and reports that terrorists could sneak in via the refugee program, he is more worried than ever about his family’s safety, he said.

    “times have changed," he said from his southwest phoenix office, where he works as finance director of a car-auction company.

    “the return on (the wall) isn’t measured in profit margin. it's measured in safety. at the end of the day, if we end up footing the whole bill, it's totally worth it.”

    clifton swann, peoria resident

    "we’re not going to fix this problem and protect our people by having as much comp ion as possible for the people who are hurting us," he said. "we need to take a different approach. ... we need to make tougher decisions."

    swan said trump’s vision of putting u.s. interests first — in trade, border enforcement and security — had resonated with him since the earliest days of trump's paign.

    as for the border wall, swann wants it done already, no matter how much it costs or who pays for it.

    maybe it won’t stop all of the undocumented immigrants or drug traffickers, he said. but prior presidents of both political stripes were unable to close the border or prevent people from overstaying visas.

    “the return on (the wall) isn’t measured in profit margin,” he says. “it’s measured in safety.

    "at the end of the day, if we end up footing the whole bill, it’s totally worth it.”

    republic reporters laura gómez, daniel gonzález and yvonne wingett sanchez contributed to this article.

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