NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — An art project in the downtown area entitled “A Portrait of America: We are a nation of immigrants” shows black and white photographs of immigrants who now live in New London.
The faces which cover the large windows of empty storefronts was meant to show the diversity of the city. But some immigrants in New London are undocumented and may now be more uncertain about their future.
“It’s putting people in a really nervous position,” says Joyce Bennett an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Connecticut College. She works closely with New London’s immigrant population. In Connecticut those who are undocumented can get a driver’s license and access to health services.
“Day one my first hour in office those people are gone,” says Donald Trump during one of his rallies. His hard stance against illegal immigrants has put some on edge.
“If there are federal requirements that are passed about who has access to what then we could definitely see people’s ability to access basic human services limited,” says Bennett.
“As citizens of this great nation we accept the results of the democratic process,” says Fahran Memon of CAIR-CT who spoke to News8 via SKYPE. He says Muslims will continue to build bridges and clear up misconceptions but as Americans they will not let new leadership discriminate against them.
“We have no idea who they are,” says Trump during a recent debate. “Where they’re from.”
“When Donald Trump suggests that he is going to ban Muslims from entering the United States we believe that that’s unconstitutional and we will use our legal resources to challenge him and his administration,” says Memon.
“I was sort of thinking maybe we try to get as many families here before inauguration day,” says Ron Ward who works with Start Fresh which has brought two of five refugee families to New London County and is hoping to bring another into a New London home in January.
He says the vetting process guards against terrorists.
“It’s not these good families that have been patient and sitting in a refugee camp for two years,” says Ward.
He has contacted IRIS which is the New Haven organization helping to bring in refugee families because he is hoping someone knows what’s going to happen now.