Editors/News Directors:

From the opening minutes of his speech announcing his candidacy for president, Donald Trump put immigrants in his crosshairs. Building a border wall, rolling back Obama-era protections for undocumented parents of citizen children, ending safeguards for "Dreamers" who arrived as kids — they became hallmarks of a campaign and now a presidency whose hard-line policies are sparking debate and changing the face of a nation long considered a melting pot.

On the border, young children have been separated from their parents. Elsewhere, immigrants who committed no other crime than living in the country illegally have been apprehended at what they thought would be routine check-ins. Soon, more than 300,000 migrants who fled deadly disasters or war and who've lived in the U.S. legally under protected status will lose that status and face deportation, too.

The ramifications of these policies touch not only immigrants coming to or living in the U.S. illegally, but citizen children and spouses, the many communities immigrant families call home, businesses who rely on immigrant workers, and more.

This year, The Associated Press is exploring some of the many reverberations of Trump's policies on immigration in the U.S. and beyond. This week, we call to your attention an enterprise package told from northern Kentucky, where an ordinary enforcement operation picked up 22 migrants, and left behind a crisis that forced a community to respond.

A multi-format package of text, photos and video is available for publication beginning at 12:01 a.m. eastern on Monday, July 9. The text and main photos moved in advance on July 5 under a "hold-for-release" for planning purposes. Questions may be directed to U.S. Enterprise Editor Pauline Arrillaga at parrillaga@ap.org


COVINGTON, Ky. — It had taken a decade for Brandon Tomas Tomas to establish a life in America: a wife, a steady job and five American-born children. It took 20 seconds for that life to be taken away. An immigration officer looking for someone else spotted him and asked an innocuous question: "Cómo estás?" How are you? Then he asked whether Tomas had papers. In a flash, the 33-year-old Guatemalan was in handcuffs, headed to jail and probable deportation. Many miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities are separating families in raids that target immigrants at home and at work, conducted in the name of public safety. Most of these raids go unnoticed outside of the communities affected, but they are integral to the Trump administration's broader crackdown on immigration that is leading to more arrests, particularly of migrants with no criminal records. This is the story of one such operation, and the lingering effects it had not just on families but on the community they had come to call home. Families barely getting by lost their only breadwinner. Volunteers passed out cash so that bills got paid. Children needed meals and clothes, and one school consultant says three students came to her, talking about suicide. Even now, more than six months later, a boy, 4 years old, screams if he can't find his father, terrified he's been taken away again. By Nomaan Merchant. 2,952 words, with an abridged version of 790 words. With photos by Gregory Bull and video story by Manuel Valdes.

The AP