Local DACA recipients respond to Trump's proposal
With Democrats against the president’s plan, thousands of immigrants are still left in limbo.
29-year-old Isnelia Alvarez was brought to the U.S. by her family as a child, but she said life before DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) wasn’t always easy.
"I’ve worked at a raspa stand, which they pay you really bad because they take advantage of the fact that you don't have citizenship here,” said Alvarez.
However, Alvarez isn’t alone.
"I was mowing lawns trying to make money so I can pay my way to school,” said Carlos Hernandez Palomo, a lab technician at Edinburg Vision Center.
Under DACA, the two are able to stay in the U.S. temporarily, which gives them the opportunity to accomplish their goals.
“Going into optometry school since I worked here for so long, I feel I have acquired a lot of knowledge,” said Hernandez.
However, a battle over the border wall could cut their dreams short. In day 32 of the government shutdown, the president and Democrats are still at odds over the proposed border wall. But in exchange for that wall, President Donald Trump is offering temporary relief to immigrants.
"This extension will give them access to work permits, social security numbers and protection from deportation,” said Trump.
But Alvarez and Hernandez said they're looking for more.
“Three-year protection really isn't much. We need something more concrete to where we’re more at ease,” said Hernandez.
"I would be for the wall if he were to give me permanent citizenship without it ever being revoked,” said Alvarez.
With Congress at odds, Immigration Attorney, Margie Villalobos said it's important for immigrants to be prepared and plan ahead.
"If they have other options to become residents, I advise them to go ahead and file the petitions,” said Villalobos.
But for now, it's a waiting game.
"I want to be able to say I did this all on my own and I think DACA gives me that power,” said Alvarez.
"DACA recipients that have been here for so many years have acquired so much knowledge that they can apply it here and prosper here, why take it somewhere else?,” asked Hernandez.