Immigration raids cause metro Atlanta businesses to lose money - CBS46 News

Immigration raids cause metro Atlanta businesses to lose money

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The threat of immigration raids is hitting some metro Atlanta businesses right in the wallet. Those businesses are in communities targeted by federal immigration agents. 

Even the threat of a raid is affecting immigrants who are here legally.

The sounds of Spanish fill the Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway. An atmosphere Ana Hernandez calls community for Hispanics in Chamblee. 

"They feel safe in this community...but it's bad." said Hernandez.

Her family's safe haven is inside El Rosario where the Virgin Mary, rosaries, and prayer candles line each wall. 

"The business it used to be so good. But the economy has been down."

Hernandez is speaking on behalf of her mother who owns this store and speaks little English and is referring to the economy of local Hispanics. 

"They like to come out , they like to come and get their stuff,  but now I fee like they're afraid because a lot of police are coming."

She tells me agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement are seen frequently around this community causing many to fear the worst. 

"They're scared if they're going to get pulled over, they might get arrested for not having their license, so they don't come out anymore."

Hernandez has a friend whose father was deported for just that. It's a conversation of possibility that many families have. 

"Many parents they work so hard and all they're doing is just working just for their family then they get arrested for not having a license but they're not doing anything wrong."

Candles providing protection in jail are one of the store's best sellers. 

"All they're trying to do is have a better life."

The constant worry of not knowing---causing El Rosario to go from days of $2,000 sales, sometimes down to just $300 per day. 

"They go undercover, knock on people's door, acting like a normal Hispanic person and then they ask them let me see your papers."

These current circumstances can be frightening and unfair, according to Hernandez.  

"One day you have them and the next day you won't be able to see them no more."

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