The immigrants’ concerns about deportation and citizenship appear to be unsubstantiated. And while charity agencies say they are still seeing numerous immigrants sign up for food stamps, the Trump administration’s stepped-up rhetoric and enforcement has sowed concern. So some are hunkering down, avoiding government aid.
“They’re all scared,” said Darlene Duke, executive director of the Sweetwater Mission in Austell. “They’re concerned about anything they do that can raise a red flag. They’re laying low.”