‘Economic Tsunami’: Fearing Donald Trump, Immigrants in New York Spend Less

In Jackson Heights, Queens, days after the presidential election, an Indian-American jeweler was left holding an order of two custom men’s gold rings worth $3,000. The customer told him he could not pay; he had to go back to his home country before he could be deported.

At the furniture store Casa Dominicana on St. Nicholas Avenue in Upper Manhattan, the white leather sofas and bedroom sets have not been selling, the manager, Wendy Calderon, said. “Most people are afraid to go out and shop,” she said. “They are saving their money if anything crazy happens.”

And at the office of Dr. Ismael Bastida, a Mexican-born, New York University-trained dentist in Elmhurst, Queens, patients are forgoing teeth-whitening packages and long-term treatment plans. As a result, he ordered fewer syringes and fillings last week from Benco Dental, a family-owned company based in Luzerne County, Pa., where 58 percent voted for the Republican, Donald. J. Trump.

New York City, where a weighty portion of the economy is driven by immigrants, is already starting to feel the effect of Mr. Trump’s election, as residents in Latino neighborhoods facing an uncertain future have cut back their spending. Forty-seven percent of the city’s work force is made up of immigrants, according to the Center for an Urban Future, a nonpartisan group that studies city finance.

Those most worried are undocumented immigrants, whom Mr. Trump during the campaign vowed to deport. Some 574,000 city residents are undocumented, and they pay $793 million a year in state and local taxes, according to a study commissioned by the City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Democrat.

About 10 percent of the city’s workers are unauthorized, according to United States census figures, although an accurate count is hard to determine.

By LIZ ROBBINS for The New York Times
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