California immigrants are struggling with uncertainty as President Trump tries to ramp up immigration enforcement in the U.S. Ryan Levi/KQED
California immigrants are struggling with uncertainty as President Trump tries to ramp up immigration enforcement in the U.S. (Ryan Levi/KQED)

Living in Limbo: California Immigrant Stories in Trump's America

Living in Limbo: California Immigrant Stories in Trump's America

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President Donald Trump's surprising rise to the White House was fueled in large part by his hard-line stance on immigration.

He promised to end protections for children brought to the United States illegally, build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and increase immigration enforcement.

Three months into his presidency, Trump has followed through on these plans to varying degrees, leaving millions of immigrants in California and across the country still trying to figure out what his policies will mean for them and their loved ones.

On April 21, The California Report Magazine produced a special edition highlighting the stories of four Californians whose lives are stuck in limbo as they wait to see what the future holds for them and their families in Trump's America.

Listen to the full special:

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Living in Limbo: California Immigrant Stories in Trump's America

Living in Limbo: California Immigrant Stories in Trump's America

They came from Yemen, Guatemala, Macau and Mexico. Two came with visas; two came without. Their stories and lives are different, but they're all in limbo.

Maguiber

Maguiber was detained by ICE on Febuary 9. His wife, Yiby, is unemployed and now watches their three children by herself. Their 8-year-old, Kevin, is disabled and Yibi is worried about the financial burden her partner's detention is causing.
Maguiber was detained by ICE on Febuary 9. His wife, Yibi, is unemployed and now watches their three children by herself. Their 8-year-old, Kevin, is disabled and Yibi is worried about the financial burden her partner's detention is causing. (Erasmo Martinez/KQED)

Name: Maguiber (asked not to use last name while deportation case is pending)

Home Country: Guatemala

California Home: Oakland

Year Immigrated: 2008

How entered country: unknown

Reason for limbo: Detained in West County Detention Facility in Richmond, awaiting deportation hearing.

Daniel Maher

Daniel Maher stands in front of a pile of recycling at the Berkeley Ecology Center.
Daniel Maher stands in front of a pile of recycling at the Berkeley Ecology Center, where he directs the fleet and mentors at-risk youth. (Bert Johnson/KQED)

Name: Daniel Maher

Home Country: Macau (former Portuguese colony, now Chinese autonomous territory)

California Home: Hayward

Year Immigrated: 1977

How entered country: With green card, accompanied by parents

Reason for limbo: Deportable because of a past crime, but China won't accept U.S. deportees

Olivia

Olivia looks at pictures of dogs on Instagram to help her de-stress and keep her mind off of the news surrounding immigration policy.
Olivia looks at pictures of dogs on Instagram to help her relieve stress and keep her mind off of the news surrounding immigration policy. (Ryan Levi/KQED)

Name: Olivia (asked not to use real name out of fear of deportation)

Home Country: Mexico

California Home: San Francisco

Year immigrated: 1999

How entered country: Crossed U.S.-Mexico border at age 10 without documentation

Reason for limbo: Uncertainty surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and whether her marriage will allow her to adjust her status

Moe

Saber Askar, better known as "Moe," stands outside his apartment in East Porterville. He is a U.S. citizen, and he's struggling to bring his family to the United States from Yemen.
Saber Askar, better known as "Moe," stands outside his apartment in East Porterville in the Central Valley. He is a U.S. citizen, and he's struggling to bring his family to the United States from Yemen. (Vanessa Rancano/KQED)

Name: Saber Askar ("Moe")

Home Country: Yemen

California Home: East Porterville

Year Immigrated: 1988

How entered country: As a lawful permanent resident through an application by his U.S. citizen father

Reason for limbo: Trying to bring his family over from war-torn Yemen