Hansen is one of a handful of U.S.-born horse carriage drivers. Most of the drivers are immigrants that come from a variety of countries including Ireland, Turkey, Russia, and Mexico.
Now, amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration efforts, many horse carriage drivers said they are worried.
Hansen said the drivers tell her that they are not just worried about being stopped by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but also worried about their families and their future in the U.S.
She also said, “We’ve seen the effects of Trump’s policies on our business in so far as like there are people from other countries who are so horrified by what he’s doing in terms of international relations and stuff, that if they are given a choice between going… let’s say they’re from the U.K., going to Paris or going to New York, they go to Paris. People are like boycotting like coming to the United States and spending their dollars here.”
While Hansen said she has had pleasant conversations with both Trump supporters and his critics, she said, “I really hope that the Democrats take back the Congress because something’s got to be done here.”
Since the 1860s, horse carriage operators have been lining up along Manhattan’s 59th Street and have become a tourism staple along Central Park.