National News

Local 'Dreamer' going to State of the Union to stand against immigration proposal

Posted January 28, 2018 2:26 p.m. EST

— A local Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient says the latest immigration proposal coming out of the White House is something he can't accept, so he's heading to President Trump's first State of the Union to stand against it.

Leonardo Reyes Munoz will be heading to the State of the Union with Senator Jeff Merkley on Tuesday. He says he's nervous because he thought by now the president would have a better solution for Dreamers like himself.

"I think uneasy is an understatement," said Reyes Munoz.

Uneasy is the feeling Reyes Munoz feels just days before he and other undocumented immigrants will stand in front of President Trump during his first State of the Union address.

"Our presence should be a reminder that we are still here, we are still fighting," said Reyes Munoz. "That even though Congress may feel like they can afford to say no, to not come to a solution, the reality is that this is our lives."

On Thursday, Trump offered a solution the White House is framing as a "dramatic concession" and "compromise."

In the proposal, he would give a path to citizenship for not only hundreds of thousands of DACA dreamers, but also for those undocumented immigrants who meet the DACA criteria and did not sign up.

Though that framework will give legal state to about 1.8 million people, it comes at a cost. The president wants $25 billion for border security. He also wants to eliminate the Visa lottery system and curb family reunification.

Reyes Munoz says those policies could tear families apart.

"Policies that would directly attack our families, they would attack our parents, they would attack our brothers and sisters, the rest of our community that would not qualify for this DACA fix or this DREAM Act," said Reyes Munoz.

One senior White House official told conservative outside groups, surrogates and congressional officials in a call Thursday, Trump's proposal "is extremely generous in terms of the DACA piece."

Reyes Munoz wholeheartedly disagrees.

"It's disheartening cause it's almost like you're giving something that is supposed to be hopeful but you have this great understanding that it comes at too great a cost that we're not willing to accept it and we can't accept it," he said.

Reyes Munoz was 10 years old when his parents brought him, his two sisters and brother to the United States from Mexico. He says he's hoping lawmakers can find a better solution.

DACA protections are expiring on March 5.