Utahns react to latest DACA proposal

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 21:37:48-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- In Utah, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has allowed more than 9,700 young people to pass background checks, then live and work legally in the United States.

President Donald Trump's latest deal for DACA is raising concern with some Utahns.

"What we need to do is to integrate instead of making barriers, so definitely it may sound like a compromise, but it's not what is needed for all of us here in the United States," said Teresa Molina, University Neighborhood Partners Associate Director.

President Trump's plan includes providing a "path to citizenship" for Dreamers (DACA recipients), but the stipulation is building the border wall.

"Yeah, it's a stepping stone because we're moving forward," said Siomara Gonzalez, Latino Behavioral Health Services Assistant Director. "At least we have a confirmation to where, OK, we compromise this to get this. I don't think the compromise is the right one."

Gonzalez added she thinks resources should be spent elsewhere instead of on the border wall.

In the plan, only DACA recipients are covered. Families cannot unite or stay together under the proposal, something The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed in a statement.

In part, the statement said: "The church does not advocate any specific legislative or executive solution. Our hope is that, in whatever solution emerges, there is provision for strengthening families and keeping them together."

The full statement can be found here.

“Families are gonna be impacted one way or the other," Gonzalez said, "and if we don’t come to a resolution then we’re in a bigger problem."

“Regardless of what happens with immigration, it is important for our community to help each other," Molina said. "And I’m not talking about the Latino community, but the Utah community. We are all together in this ship and we need to be responsible to protect those who are vulnerable.”

The president's plan would allow a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants out of the 11 million total who live in the United States.