Local Dreamers, Republican Party members react to Trump's immigration plan

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Karla Estrada, who turns 27 next month, has been an immigrant-rights activist for 10 years. Lawmakers face a February 8 deadline for another government shutdown and are trying against the odds to strike a deal before then.

Almost 20 people gathered in Brentwood, the community put in the spotlight by the president's focus on brutal acts of gang violence on Long Island, which he linked to a porous southern border. "They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans", he said.

"The Democrats are getting to a place where there's such a personal vendetta, nearly a hatred for Trump, that even a good deal that was far beyond what former President Obama offered, I don't know - I think they turned their nose up - it may be a moot issue when all this is said and done", Walker said. But, as the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, some were particularly apoplectic over Trump's "dreamers, too" line.

Trump suggested in another morning tweet that the Democrats, not he, are obstructing the restoration of dreamer protections.

Representative Joe Kennedy, chosen by the party to answer Trump's speech, began with a paean to new foreign arrivals and their contributions to the country.

Blanca Villanueva, whose parents are immigrants, said at Wednesday's rally that Trump "knows nothing" about immigration policy and the needs of her community. He has said he would not back off a path to citizenship for Dreamers, which many conservatives consider to be amnesty for lawbreakers. "And to all the "Dreamers' watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. We will not walk away". Rather than reminding Americans of their common roots as immigrants and stressing that immigration is the cornerstone of the American story, Trump vilified them.

"For both sides, the deal is completely unacceptable, so that's what makes this very complicated".

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The president also wants to get rid of the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the visa lottery, and to limit family sponsorships to just spouses and kids, which would change the scope of the family unification immigration policy now in place.

Trump also referenced "two terrorist attacks in New York" that "were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration", promising to end both systems. He would have Americans believe that compassionate treatment for unaccompanied minors who cross the border, often fleeing violence and poverty, or family-based immigration is somehow akin to acquiescing in the homicidal nihilism of MS-13.

It's now up to Trump to prove whether his calls for civility and bipartisanship are honest.

"His immigration proposal betrays family values and uses Dreamers as a bargaining chip to harm other families".

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the president's plan is credible.

"The first two we are discussing", House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday of DACA and border security.

"Nobody wants a shutdown", she said. But we need to understand that there are hundreds of thousands of American citizens living in poverty because there's nowhere to work.

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