Local 'Dreamer' responds to President Trump's proposal

Dreamer Cecilia Castro typing on a computer.Jan. 2, 2019 (KBAK/KBFX photo)

President Trump announced a new proposal Saturday to end the government shutdown.

He asked Democratic leaders for $5.7 billion for a border wall and, in exchange, offered three-year protection to nearly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, also known as Dreamers.

Cecilia Castro is one of those Dreamers. She was only 6 years old when she was brought to the United States and has lived in the Central Valley ever since.

"I think the offer, it's not really an act of negotiation, it's an act of desperation," Castro said.

She said Dreamers should not be used as means to reach a deal for a border wall.

"Really, that's like putting a band-aid on a much bigger problem that this country has, which is a broken immigration system, when in reality what we need is comprehensive immigration reform," she said.

Before becoming a DACA recipient, she could not work or drive because both required her to have a Social Security number.

"DACA has been able to give me the opportunity to work here, to stay with my family and really give back to my community and be in a country where I feel I was raised and I'm a part of," Castro said.

While she had to make several sacrifices to reach some dreams, her persistence has paid off.

Five years ago, she graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara, and now she can work and drive. However, she has one more dream she hopes to soon fulfill.

"My ultimate goal is to be a U.S. citizen," she said.

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