Even people here with some form of legal status are on the clock. Trump has stripped Temporary Protected Status, TPS, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, from hundreds of thousands of people.
If their legal status ends, they will slip into the ranks of the millions of people considered to be here illegally and potentially subject to arrest and deportation.
Carlos Acosta of Virginia is on that precipice. Originally from El Salvador, he has Temporary Protected Status and has worked in the U.S. as a tire mechanic for the same company for 17 years. This has allowed him to send money to his family back home and build a house that he planned to finish in five years.
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But since the Trump administration announced it would end TPS for Salvadorans, he may have to return to El Salvador before the home is completed.
“I’m really mad,” Acosta said. “I have been in the U.S. 17 years and never been in trouble. No DWI, no alcohol. I try to follow all the laws of this country, this state.”
By targeting legal immigration and refugees, the president has helped sear in the minds of some the image of an ongoing mass deportation, said Randy Capps, senior researcher for the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
More family visas are being denied and the processing of them has slowed with longer approval periods. There are fewer students arriving on visas and Trump has proposed ending visas for spouses of H1-B holders, provided for certain specialized workers.
Add to that the insistence that in exchange for allowing DACA recipients to stay in the U.S., Trump is insisting Democrats agree to an end to the diversity visa lottery and limits on immigrants sponsoring family members to come to the U.S. on visas, what the president has been calling "chain" migration but what some see as a derogatory term.
"There hasn't been this kind of broad base effort to restrict legal immigration in a long time," Capps said. "That is something new."
While Congress has stalemated over immigration legislation, Trump's administration has been using mechanisms already in place to ramp up enforcement. His administration has put back to use some tactics that were stopped in the Obama administration.
In California, ICE officers showed up at hearings held for workers, including immigrants, making complaints against employers over wage disputes, said Shannon Gleeson, associate professor of labor relations, law and history at Cornell University. Reports from workers that employers are threatening to call immigration in wage or work disputes are becoming more common, she said.
It's not limited to employers. A lawsuit filed by Washington State accuses Motel 6 of turning over names and personal information of guests to immigration officers.
"Places considered safe places or off limits are no longer necessarily so. People willing to come in and exercise their rights are now in jeopardy," Gleeson said.
Recently published ICE data shows that deportations of people arrested in the U.S. interior rose to 61,094 from Jan. 20 to Sept. 30 last year, compared to 44,512 in the same period in 2016.
But in 2015, when the Obama administration emphasized deporting criminals and people caught entering the country illegally, 69,478 people arrested in the interior U.S. were removed. Early in Obama's tenure, removals of people arrested in the interior were at more than 200,000 for several years, according to ICE data.
“They’ve got a ways to go to get back to the (early) deportation levels of Obama,” said Capps.