Latinos are Spending Less at Retailers Amid Deportation Fears

It's been less than eight months since Donald Trump became commander-in-chief. Since then the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has conducted a series of arrests across major cities across the country, spreading fear among undocumented immigrants.

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As enforcement increases, Latino consumers have cut down on spending due to fear of mass deportation, Reuters reports. Many retailers have already taken notice of this change in consumer behavior in Latinos, who are the fastest growing minority consumer group in the U.S.

Back in July, Target's Chief Executive Brian Cornell talked about the changes in spending at a conference in Aspen, Colorado. "They are staying home. They are going out less often, particularly around border towns in the United States," Cornell said.

Chief Executive of O'Reilly Automotive, Gregory Henslee, also pointed out how the company's weak second-quarter sales were specifically in Hispanic-dominant areas of the country. "It's not just something that we've seen. It's something that most retailers have seen," Henslee said.

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Sadly, this fear that doing everyday activities might land undocumented immigrants in deportation proceedings has also affected family members. Juan, a U.S. citizen, revealed he is now in charge of all the shopping for his household because his family is too afraid to leave the house. "For our own president to call us criminals, thieves, and rapists - it's terrible ... we live in fear of doing those simple things like going for groceries," the teen said.

According to Nielsen, despite the significant decrease in spending, common goods such as groceries are on the rise, but at a much slower pace than years prior.