The Trump Effect – Thais living in U.S. anxious

The widely covered first two months in office of President Trump have been sensational and controversial to say the least. One of the most controversial impacts of the new Trump administration is the election campaign promise to be tough on illegal immigrants. The nation, founded by immigrants not all that long ago, is making life difficult for people travelling to the US (particularly from the middle east and for those identifying themselves as Muslim) and it is also causing widespread fear amongst communities made up of undocumented or illegal immigrants.

Thai nationals living in the U.S. without proper documentation are reportedly feeling the pressure. There are thought to be around 100,000 Thais living illegally in the U.S., of a total of around 11 million illegal immigrants. A warning has been issued to those 100,000 or so Thais by Thailand’s Foreign Ministry, telling them to obey by all of the laws in their host country. The deputy director-general of the Consular Department, Chittipat Thongprasert, wasn’t overly sympathetic in his statement saying that “undocumented people take their own risks if they are arrested and deported.”

The new U.S. administration isn’t wasting any time and immigration officials have been told to deport illegals as quickly as possible, with the possible exception of some children. Thai people living in the US are reporting the fear spreading through Thai communities at this time. Even legal immigrants are starting to feel uneasy about making sure all their documents are immaculate in order to avoid any trouble at the hands of Trump’s immigration authorities.

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