DACA in limbo as Trump and lawmakers point fingers
Young immigrants on Long Island and around the country are living in limbo as they await action by lawmakers on DACA, the program that protects immigrants brought to the country illegally as children from deportation.
President Donald Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program back in September, sparking protests around the country. A federal court temporarily has blocked the president's action, and over the weekend, the government resumed accepting DACA renewal applications. But there's still no long-term plan in place, and the president and lawmakers have so far been unable to agree on a deal.
President Trump blames Democratic lawmakers, tweeting Sunday morning that DACA is "probably dead."
“The folks from DACA should know the Democrats are the ones that aren't going to make a deal,” Trump told reporters.
Senate Democrats point the finger back at Trump, saying that there's a bipartisan deal on the table for the so-called Dreamers that also adds funding for border security.Trump last week rejected a DACA deal drafted by a bipartisan group of senators. The deal included a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and $1.6 billion for border security, including Trump's promised border wall.
Long Islanders have expressed mixed views on how DACA should be addressed.
"I just think that anyone who comes here illegally shouldn't be here, and that bothers me," one resident told News 12.
DACA recipient Jenny Salinas was brought to the U.S. illegally by her parents from Ecuador when she was 10 years old. In 2014, she got DACA status and she's currently working legally in the country as a paralegal.
"I pay taxes, and I try to pay every due that I need to," she says. "I want to get a degree here. I know in my country, I will never get to that point."
She has a message for the president and those who don't support DACA. "We're here to help the economy, the country, and we want what's best for the country," Salinas says.
Some Democrats have threatened to vote against legislation to extend government funding, which expires on Friday, unless protections for the Dreamers are included.
Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.