What to Know
- Several representatives from the area from both parties will have those undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as guests.
- An estimated 700,000 undocumented immigrants are a part of the program.
- All sides are eager to here if Trump will continue to extend the DACA program and allow them to stay in the country.
As President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, the future of DREAMers will be on the minds of South Florida politicians and those that are part of the program.
Several representatives from the area on both sides of the aisle – including Republican Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz – will have undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children as guests for the President’s speech.
All sides are eager to hear if Trump will continue to extend the DACA program and allow them to stay in the country as part of an eventual pathway to citizenship. The President has said he would be open to that, but only if Congress will help fund several security programs that include a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
One guest of Rep. Curbelo will be Adrian Escarate, who was brought to South Florida by his parents from Chile at the age of three. Escarate graduated from St. Thomas University in 2011 and has acquired a work permit, social security number and driver’s license as part of DACA.
Escarate hopes the President acknowledges the contributions of DREAMers like him have had on the country they were brought to.
"I would just tell him that I'm as American as he is,” Escarate said via Skype from his Washington D.C. hotel room. "This is the only country that I've ever known, and this is the country that I want to live in and work in and contribute in."
Rep. Wasserman Schultz will bring Nicholas Perez, a Venezuela native who moved to Broward County at the age of 12.
An estimated 700,000 undocumented immigrants are a part of the program, with the Trump administration having placed a March deadline on reaching an agreement regarding immigration reform before ending the DACA program.