EL PASO, Texas - President Donald Trump told congressional leaders on Sunday that his hard-line immigration priorities must be enacted in exchange for extending protection from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Trump's list of demands included overhauling the country's green-card system, a crackdown on unaccompanied minors entering the country, and building his promised wall along the southern border.
Local DACA recipients tell ABC-7 they don't want to be used as a bargaining chip.
"We want a clean Dream Act, we don't want any tradeoffs," Paola Rodriguez said. "It feels like if they took your wings off. DACA to build your career, your future, to keep going...this is our future, it's not really something to be playing around with.
In addition to constructing a wall along the Southern border of the U.S., the Trump Administration's priorities include adding 10,000 ICE agents, 370 immigration judges, and cracking down on "sanctuary" cities.
Some Republican lawmakers, including Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., applauded the measures, calling the president "spot on." House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows said: "We look forward to the administration's insistence on these principles in any deal that is signed into law."
"I want people who are coming up with these ideas to spend some time in El Paso, Texas and they will see one of the safest cities in America," (D) Rep. Beto O'Rourke said. "When they see us, and they come to El Paso, and they realize we're not a war zone, and that we are so safe and secure and successful, maybe that will help that doing the right thing going forward."
A group of 50 DACA recipients with the Border Dreamers Alliance will be heading to Washington, D.C. later this month to lobby on behalf of the Dream Act.
"I do believe in regulating the border. I do believe in making everything safer for everybody, but that just doesn't seem like the right way to do it," DACA recipient David Gamez said. "We do have to find a compromise. We do have to find a common ground, but the wall just isn't it."