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Immigration rights groups respond to Trump's DACA proposal

By
Susan McFarland
Dreamers and their supporters wait for a rally with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urging for Congress to take up the DACA issue and find a solution for the Dreamers, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18. On Friday, immigration rights group America's Voice voiced displeasure in a recent immigration proposal made by the Trump Administration. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Dreamers and their supporters wait for a rally with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urging for Congress to take up the DACA issue and find a solution for the Dreamers, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18. On Friday, immigration rights group America's Voice voiced displeasure in a recent immigration proposal made by the Trump Administration. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Immigration rights group America's Voice is not impressed with the Trump administration's recent reform proposal, saying the plan will not protect thousands of families from being ripped apart.

During a conference call with media on Friday, Frank Sharry, the group's executive director, said President Donald Trump's expected proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children is not a viable solution.

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That proposal ties protection for beneficiaries of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the creation of a $25 billion trust fund to finance the creation of Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump said last year the DACA program would expire unless there is a legislative replacement made before March.

"We need to find a sweet spot, a bipartisan solution," Sharry said. "The proposal from the White House is a white radical solution and in no way that sweet spot."

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Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., defended Trump's suggestions in a statement Thursday. Cotton said the outline would help those who benefit from DACA.

"The president's framework is generous and humane, while also being responsible," Cotton said. "It protects those eligible for DACA, who are here through no fault of their own."

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Jonathan Green, co-founder of the UndocuBlack Network, a group that fosters undocumented black immigrants, said during the conference call the proposal will have devastating consequences and does nothing to protect the 300,000 black immigrants in the country.

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"As a DACA participant, I reject this proposal," Green said. "There is no green card shiny enough to justify the consequences this proposal will have."

Speaking of the border wall funding, Andrea Guerrero, co-chair of Southern Border Communities Coalition, a coalition for border communities, said the $25 billion could be used for better projects, such as getting Brownsville, Texas, a much-needed hospital.

"It's a waste of money. We need roads, hospitals and infrastructure to revitalize our communities," Guerrero said.

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John C. Yang, president and executive director of the civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said the proposal is a "non-starter."

"Immigrants are not animals that migrate, the only people that came to the United States in chains were slaves from Africa," Yang said.

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