Last month, Ms. Flores, 37, dropped her younger daughter at school and boarded an N train at 59th Street in Brooklyn, headed to work on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She chose the second car because she was heavily pregnant and tired, and she wanted a seat where she could nap.
Soon, smoke filled the air, and she held her breath. A man laughed and said they were all going to die. There were booms as other commuters ran toward her side of the car, she said.
“In that moment, I only felt that fear inside of me,” she said. “I got my phone, and I started to record some videos.”
Sharing the recordings with the police might have seemed like an ordinary act, but doing so was bold for Ms. Flores, who is subject to a deportation order issued after immigration officers raided an Amtrak train she was riding in 2000. Ms. Flores said she never received a hearing notice and found out only years later.
After the shooting, though, all she could think about was her unborn child.
“I wanted him to be well,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking about, ‘Oh, something will happen to me if I speak with them.’”
Her lawyer, Mr. Gomez Alfaro, plans to ask an immigration court in Buffalo, N.Y., to lift the order of removal and said he is optimistic because of recent federal guidance to end deportation cases against people with no criminal history.
But, he said, the city must expedite paperwork supporting her application for a U visa, reserved for victims of crimes including assault and attempted murder. Applicants must submit a certification to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services from a law-enforcement agency, confirming that they helped with the investigation.