DACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall

DACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall

Belen Sisa, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE was using so-called "Dreamers" as "bargaining chips" in his attempt to build a wall along the southern border. 

“I don’t know if the president is completely ignorant to history or if he has gone delusional to what happened a year ago when he ended the program himself,” Sisa said on CNN just a day after Trump made a new proposal in an attempt to reopen the government. 

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“If he truly cared about Dreamers, if he truly cared about undocumented youth, he would not be using us as bargaining chips through his tantrum of getting a wall that makes no sense.”

Sisa continued that it was "disappointing and saddening to see that the person who is supposed to hold this country together is doing nothing but dividing the American people by holding immigrant youth hostage.”

Trump on Saturday proposed a new deal that would include, among other things, more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border and a three-year extension of protections for “Dreamers” who benefit from the DACA program.

Sisa said that Democrats should "absolutely not" consider the proposal, noting that a legal battle is still ongoing over Trump's attempts to put an end to the program, which began in 2012 under former President Obama. 

The program allows young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children to live and work here without fear of deportation.

Trump made the pitch as the the government shutdown, which was triggered on Dec. 22, stretches into its fifth week, making it the longest in U.S. history. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Can progressives govern? Dems plan hearing on emergency declaration's impact on military MORE (D-Calif.) has already called Trump's offer a "non-starter." Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will bring Trump’s proposal up for a vote this week.