A young recipient of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is grateful to President Donald Trump for the “leadership” and “compassion” he has displayed as he works to find a solution to the DACA issue.
But Hilario “Eli” Yanez, a native of Mexico who was brought to the U.S. when he was just 1 year old, blasted Democrats for using DACA recipients as “pawns.”
Appearing Saturday on “Fox & Friends,” Yanez praised Trump’s work on immigration, indicating that the president has shown “courage.”
“Let me begin by first thanking Donald Trump for his leadership, his compassion and also the courage to take on this issue,” Yanez said, before pointing out that Trump has come out in favor of a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
Hilario Yanez, DACA Recipient: “Let me begin by first thanking Donald Trump for his leadership, his compassion and also the courage to take on this issue.” pic.twitter.com/GfhekwGKtL
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 10, 2018
“Here’s a guy who wants to provide a pathway to citizenship for myself and really make a difference in my life,” he said.
Yanez also recognized the importance of border security, noting that “if a (border) wall is necessary,” than such a wall should be funded.
Later in the segment, though, Yanez expressed his frustration with Democrat leaders in Congress — specifically House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — who he suggested are using dreamers like himself as political “pawns.”
“The Democratic leadership, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, really have no clear message,” he said, as reported by The Daily Caller. “We have been confused. I think at the end of the day they have been using us as pawns.”
Yanez argued that Democrats should not have shut down the federal government over DACA, saying that it was wrong to hold “our American people and our military hostage”
Trump rescinded the Obama-era executive order in September 2017, giving Congress until March 5 to pass legislation addressing the fate of DACA recipients.
“There is plenty of time on the table to fix this,” Yanez said. “March 5 is the deadline.”
Yanez, who is currently employed as a technology analyst at Accenture Technology in Houston, Texas, also thinks the visa lottery system should be cast aside in favor of a merit-based system.
“I think it’s outdated,” he said of the visa lottery system. “I think it’s time for people who want to come to the United States to focus on skills so they can contribute to the American economy.”
Yanez’s views on how to fix America’s broken immigration system seem to line up with Trump’s proposal regarding the matter.
Under the proposal, roughly 1.8 million illegal immigrants would essentially receive amnesty, but only if certain demands are met.
These demands include $25 billion for construction of a border wall and an end to the visa lottery and chain migration systems. Instead, Trump wants a merit-based program that prioritizes skilled immigrants who will contribute to American society.
Yanez said Trump is “one of the greatest presidents to get things done,” at least in terms of legislation. Though he said Trump is willing to work with politicians on the other side of the aisle, it’s Democrats who “don’t want to work with him.”
Whatever happens, Yanez emphasized that he loves the U.S., and would “do anything to serve this country, to die for this country.”