'It's dehumanizing': Dreamers say they're treated as political pawns

So-called "Dreamers" on Long Island say they are being treated like political pawns.

News 12 Staff

Jan 20, 2019, 10:37 PM

Updated 1,955 days ago

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So-called "Dreamers" on Long Island say they are being treated like political pawns.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump offered a deal intended to bring about the end of the government shutdown. It would temporarily reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy and temporary protected status, or TPS, in exchange for $5.7 billion funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
DACA recipients say they're being used as a bargaining chip in the shutdown debate. They say Trump's proposal is a temporary fix for a problem that needs a long-term solution.
"It's dehumanizing," says Nelson Melgar Martinez, of the North Shore Hispanic Civic Association. "I don't believe someone with his stature, his power, should be utilizing people's lives to advance a political agenda."
The president's Saturday address came as the government shutdown enters its fifth week.a
Democrats in Congress called the proposal a nonstarter.
Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin said in a statement, "It's past time for Speaker Pelosi to negotiate and compromise. Neither party has absolute power. We must talk to each other and work it out. No excuses!"
"There has to be a comprehensive immigration reform and it has to be had keeping in mind that these are people's lives," Martinez says.
Until congressional leaders and the president come to some kind of agreement, the fate of Dreamers, TPS holders and about 800,000 federal workers affected by the shutdown remain in limbo.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring legislation up for a vote that would reopen the government and includes funding for Trump's border wall.


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