SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - President Donald Trump says he's willing to make a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or "DACA" but only if certain demands are met.
The Trump Administration unveiled a long list of demands for a deal to protect the so called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Those demands include: curbing funding for "sanctuary cities", a crackdown on unaccompanied minors from Central America and funding the border wall.
Congressional Democratic leaders denounced the proposal -- saying: "The administration can't be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers....This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise."
Xochitl Juarez of Salt Lake City is one of those Dreamers. Her parents brought here here from Mexico when she was 3 years old.
"I don't feel like I'm undocumented," she told ABC4 Utah News. "I've been here my whole life so I feel like an American you know. The only thing I'm missing is that immigration paperwork."
Juarez, a full time mentor to autistic foster children, feels like she is a pawn in Trump's immigration policy chess game.
"We want to believe that Trump does care for Dreamers but with the things he wants to implement it doesn't seem that way," Juarez said. "It's like he wants to uses us as leverage for what he wants to get."
Now the mother of a 4 year old and a 4 month old worries what will happen when her work permit expires next year.
"It's not only me that I'm looking after it's my kids," Juarez said. "Taking them out of this country that has so many opportunities to going somewhere you don't even know of...it's pretty scary....I now have two American citizen children and it's very heartbreaking to think that i can be, you know, deported, out of the only country that I know."
Juarez was one of five Utah Dreamers who recently traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss the issue with Utah senators and representatives.
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