Latino businesses in Santa Barbara suffer losses under Trump
Views 44 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 3 - 28 - 2017 | By: Mallory Neithart
President Trump has been in office for 64 days and Latino-owned Santa Barbara businesses are finally starting to feel the effect of his newly passed immigration laws. Mom and pop type businesses, such as hair salons, clothing stores, restaurants, auto repair shops, and so on, have been hit hard in recent months with significant decreases in revenue, the Santa Barbara Independent reports.
The change can be specifically attributed to President Trump’s efforts to deport illegal immigrants, which has created an unsettling atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the Santa Barbara community where one in ten residents are undocumented.
“People are afraid to spend the little money they have because they don’t know what awaits them”, says local business owner Lucy Zamudio. Her store, Lucy’s Boutique, a clothing store located on Milpas Street, has lost over half of its sales since Trump’s victory in the November election and it may not be open for much longer as a result.
Customers are afraid to venture outside now, for fear that they might be questioned by authorities, and now tend to go out only after dark, if at all. Store owners report that they regularly receive calls from customers asking if they have seen an ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, van patrolling the area recently.
ICE has stated that it will not indiscriminately target aliens with sweeps, raids, or checkpoints, and the Santa Barbara Police Department and county Sheriff’s Department have stated that they will not hand in undocumented residents unless they pose a serious threat to public safety, but people continue to be wary. To help with the uncertainty, the immigrant rights advocacy group CAUSE is encouraging immigrants to text ALERT to 24587 to receive trustworthy reports on the actions of ICE in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
In addition to negatively impacting Santa Barbara’s local businesses, Trump’s new policies have dampened the moral of immigrant families. Julio López, owner of Julio’s Business Services, claims that recently undocumented parents have been coming to him to notarize power of attorney forms so that they can name a friend or family member as the guardian of their citizen children lest they should be deported.
López is a proud American citizen, but in respect to Trump’s new policies he simply claimed that they are “an abuse of power”.