The moment the agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement pulled into the parking lot, Filipinos on the hotel’s housekeeping staff began to imagine the worst. They would be handcuffed. They would be questioned for hours. Their papers would be found to be out of order. Ultimately, they would be deported and would return home, where they would explain about the costs of visas and housing and transportation, about the paychecks that after all the deductions barely covered expenses. They would admit that they could never repay their uncles and cousins who had given much of their savings to send them to the United States.
That’s how their journey would end, they feared, with the entire village seeing the folly of their journey, the futility of their dreams.