DACA student hits back at Trump over tweet saying recipients are ‘far from angels’


A student who is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is pushing back against President Trump’s latest claim that young undocumented immigrants protected under the policy are “far from angels” and some are “hardened criminals.”

Michelle Segura, a student at California State University, Los Angeles, emphasized that recipients of the program, known as “Dreamers,” have to go through a rigorous and costly vetting process.

“We have to go through very, very hard measurements to just be part of the program and to continue to renew, we have to go through biometrics, background checks and it’s a very expensive process,” Segura told Hill.TV. “I know there’s recommendations to increase legal fees and it’s just hard enough — paying for school, paying for living costs.”

Just hours before the Supreme Court was set to hear arguments on Trump’s move to end the DACA program, the president lashed out at Dreamers and former President Obama. 

“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” Trump claimed in a tweet early Tuesday without providing details. “President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”

Segura, who attended Tuesday’s oral arguments, said she hopes something positive can come out of the hearing and added that she hopes lawmakers can come together on a more permanent solution. If overturned, an estimated nearly 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants who live and work could find themselves in legal limbo. 

“We’re making great contributions and so I hope that this program can continue but I also hope that there’s more of a permanent solution because this is just a band aid to everything that we’re fighting for,” she said.

Her comments come as House and Senate Democrats call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass the DREAM Act, which would protected DACA recipients and provide a pathway to citizenship.

“It’s just fundamentally wrong what the administration is doing,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday flanked by DACA recipients. “Let’s see who stands for the dream and who wants to snuff it out.” 

—Tess Bonn

Featured clips