In January, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order tightening up and strengthening immigration enforcement in Oregon it left Latino workers and their children terrified. Undocumented immigrants across American communities now live in fear of deportation. But in Woodburn, more than 25,000 residents are undocumented, and about half those people struggle to speak English. Other cities across the United States Trump's immigration laws affect only a small group of Latinos because most illegal immigrants live in the city's shadows.

Guest workers who lived in work camps

In the 1940's Latino's were brought to the U.S. as “guest workers” and lived in labor camps a few miles outside of town picking berries. After picking season ended they had to leave and return to their country of origin. In the 1980's federal immigration reform changed and immigrant workers were allowed to bring their families with them and to gave them the right to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Because of this new federal immigration law, Woodburn's economy began to take a turn for the better. Farmers began hiring year-round workers to harvest strawberries, wine grapes, and hops. Workers from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala starting buying homes, enrolled their children in schools and eventually joined the City Council.

Store owners see decline in profits

Since Trump's immigration reforms shop owners see their customers disappearing. Cesar Mora, the owner of a clothing store in downtown Woodburn, Zapateria El Jalicience, said whenever a rumor starts to spread, his door stops opening. Mora said that his business is down 80 percent since President Donald Trump has been in the White House.

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Speaking in Spanish, Mora said that whether his customers are legal or illegal he depends on their business.

Most of the time rumors were just that, rumors, but this winter proved more than a fear and threatened to turn Woodburn into a ghost town. The decades of hard work it took to build their lives, raise and educated their families began to unravel.

Federal agents driving unmarked vehicles began questioning the immigrants of this mostly Latino town.

Men disappearing on their way to work

Since the beginning of 2017, Latino men who moved with their families for a better life over thirty years ago have been disappearing on their way to work. Afraid federal agents will deport their parents, teenagers fear they may be left with the responsibility of caring for their younger siblings.

Woodburn residents transformed Oregon’s worst Latino high school graduation rate into its highest. Parents who fled Mexico's violence and moved to Woodburn to pick berries raised American children qualified to receive college degrees and work in office jobs.