MIAMI (CBSMiami) — When Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address Nicolas Perez will be there, listening intently to what he says about the Dreamers.
His parents brought him to the U.S. illegally when he was 12. Now, he’s the father of three American-born children.
“If I get deported,” Perez said, “and I don’t get to spend time with my kids, with my people, it’s like putting a bullet to my head.”
He’ll be the guest of Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She wants to make sure the term “Dreamer” has a face.
“The Trump Administration is trying to use Dreamers as bargaining chips to distract their true intent to gut our immigration system,” Rep. Wasserman Schultz said, “But we don’t take the bait!”
The White House is proposing an immigration compromise that includes a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million Dreamers.
In exchange, the president wants $25 billion for the border wall and security, changes to the visa lottery program and an end to family based migration, which the White House calls chain migration.
“I’m certainly glad the president is including a pathway to citizenship in a proposal,” Wasserman Schultz said, “but unfortunately it’s a ransom.”
Republican South Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo is also brining a Dreamer with him as well.
Adrian Escarate came to the U.S. when he was 3-years-old from Chile. He too will be watching the president and Congress carefully to see if they can come up with a plan to keep Dreamers legally in the US.
“I think this is a starting point for negotiations,” Rep. Cubelo said. He continued, “It’s very easy to criticize, there’s a lot in the president’s proposal that I don’t agree with, but what I really want to do is find a way to get to yes.”
There is a looming deadline of February 8th. Democrats vowed they will not approve temporary funding to keep the government open if a DACA deal has not been reached.