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New York City families diving into the immigration process

With concern and fear growing over recent changes in U.S. policy, immigrants in New York City have been lining up by the hundreds to get copies of their children's birth certificates. The New York Times spent a few days asking people in line about their worries and hopes.

The demand prompted the city's Bureau of Vital Statistics to add hours. The first question, the newspaper reporter asked was "why are you here?" Dozens of undocumented immigrants gave the very same response: President Donald Trump.

An Ecuadorean woman was in line for a copy of her 3-year-old daughter's birth certificate. “The president says that if we’re not born here, then they’re going to deport us. That’s the problem,” she said.

She said she wants to get her daughter's paperwork resolved so that she won't be forced to leave the little girl behind in case of deportation.

"They’re our children, and we can’t leave them here abandoned,” the mother said. “That’s why we’re all in line."

A 48-year-old Mexican woman works as a housekeeper in Staten Island. She notes ironically that she hears her employer complaining about immigrants while watching the news. “I put up with it because it’s my livelihood,” she said.

For many of the parents in line, getting copies of birth certificates is just the first step of many needed to secure their children's place in the U.S. Sometimes the paperwork is part of the process in helping the parents secure a spot in the country where they have put down roots, raised kids, paid taxes and worked hard for years.

It's not an easy journey and these are not easy days for many. But with the help of an experienced Staten Island immigration attorney, the path ahead can become clearer.

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