The executive orders President Donald Trump signed in Washington this week are paving the way for a sweeping overhaul of the US immigration system. And for people around the world, Trump’s plans are personal.
US immigration: Related coverage
A Mexican mother of five American children is afraid of what might happen if police pull her over. A Yemeni man with family in the United States worries he’ll never be able to visit. An American man whose brother-in-law was killed by an undocumented immigrant is happy to hear border security has become a bigger priority.
People who could be directly impacted by this week’s executive orders opened up to CNN about their hopes and fears:
He worries he won’t be able to visit his family
Yousif AlAkwa, 20, is an engineering student from Yemen whose parents live in California. He visited last year but left to finish his studies abroad. Now he’s not sure whether he’ll be able to come back.
He feels like his family’s voice has been heard
Chuck Ellis, a state trooper in Albertville, Alabama, has been advocating for tougher immigration enforcement for years. He’s glad Trump has listened to the families of people killed by undocumented immigrants. The Mexican immigrant suspected of killing his brother-in-law in 1999 remains a wanted fugitive.
She supports Trump, but doesn’t want a wall
For decades, 88-year-old Pamela Taylor has watched undocumented migrants emerge from the Rio Grande and quickly scatter through her Brownsville, Texas, neighborhood in hopes of eluding Border Patrol agents. Every night she leaves bottles of water for the migrants and the agents engaged in this never-ending cat-and-mouse game.
He fears for his family in Iran
Alex Shams, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student in Chicago, is the son of an Iranian refugee who married an American woman. Trump’s plan, he says, is Islamophobic and has almost everyone he knows “in a state of absolute panic and terror.”
He’s thrilled by the public show of support
Border Patrol agents have never had a president so publicly support their work, according to Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council. And for years, he says, they’ve been frustrated by government guidelines that forced them to release the majority of the people they caught.
She’s ready to fight back
Greisa Martinez says she and other undocumented immigrants aren’t wasting time as word of Trump’s immigration plans spreads; they’re organizing – and determined to win. Martinez – shown here protesting House Speaker Paul Ryan during his 2014 book tour – is the advocacy director of United We Dream, which represents the group known as “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
He’s afraid victims will be trapped
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, 25, is an Iraqi who arrived in the United States as a refugee in 2013. Now, the writer and consultant says he’s worried the US government is painting with too broad a brush. Blocking refugees from his country and others, he says, will unfairly keep out innocent people who face grave dangers and could help fight extremism.
She worries about police pulling her over
Norma Aldape of Mercedes, Texas, says she’s determined to speak out, since so many can’t. Trump’s executive order, she says, will make undocumented immigrants who are already scared even more afraid.
She wants to study in the United States
Tasnim Abubakir Alsalhi wants to study physics in the United States. The Iraqi college student says it makes sense to be stricter on refugees, but that they shouldn’t be banned altogether.
CNN’s Christina Zdanowicz, Ed Lavandera, Jason Morris, Hamdi Alkhshali, Basma Atassi and journalist Hakim Almasmari contributed to this report.