On Fox News Fox & Friends, a DACA program recipient told interviewers that Democrats resort to people like himself as "pawns" for political purposes. Hilario Yanez also noted in the weekend interview that supporters of President Donald Trump had not anticipated seeing the president offer a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 800,000 so-called DREAMers.
Yanez credited Trump as "one of the greatest presidents," while he called on Democrats to offer legislation to address the plight of DREAMers who were brought to the U.S. as minors and have lived as illegal immigrants. It is the Democrats, Yanez said, who are refusing to cooperate with the president. "President Trump is willing to work with Democrats but at the end the day it is the Democrats who don't want to work with him."
Here follows a partial transcript:
Pete Hegseth, Fox & Friends host: "What do you make of the way Democrats have postured on this? Talking about DREAMers, saying they are their advocates but ultimately tying it to budget gimmicks and floor speeches."
Hilario Yanez: "Look, you know, three points I want to make about that. Number one is the Democratic leadership, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer really have no clear message, have been, you know, we have been confused. I think at the end of the day they have been using us as pawns.
"The second point I want to bring in is they should have never shut down the government over DACA. We should have never held our American people and our military hostage. There is plenty of time on the table to fix this. March 5th is the deadline. And you can see Republicans already willing to do something about it as we speak.
"And the last thing, point that I want to say is that look, Democrats, they owned all three branches of the government back in 2008 to 2011 and they still choose not to do anything. So at this point I am quite frustrated with the Democratic leadership."
Trump should make a deal with Democrats, Yanez said, to offer DREAMers a means to achieve U.S. citizenship, "so that we can actually finally get something done immigration reform." Yanez added, "At the end of the day, when I hear the national anthem I get goosebumps all over me. I always pledged allegiance to the flag and I would never disrespect it. I would never take a knee and I would do anything to serve this country, to die for this country, and all I need is a chance."
Fox News host Hegseth: "Powerful story. Sounds like it is the American dream. What do you say to the supporters of this president who say we just didn't sign up though for a pathway to citizenship. We didn't sign up for amnesty. He said famously in his State of the Union Americans are dreamers, too. What do you say to them?"
Yanez: "Look, I think at the end of the day you are looking at a president that's all about results and it's all about -- at the end of the day, I think he needs to meet Democrats in the middle. And he is bringing this pathway to citizenship so that we can actually finally get something done immigration reform. At the end of the day in terms of legislation, you're probably looking at one of the greatest presidents to get things done. I mean, look at the tax cuts. He got that done. Now he's trying to do immigration reform. Now the next thing is infrastructure. So this guy, President Trump, is willing to work with Democrats, but at the end the day it is the Democrats who don't want to work with him."
Over the March 3-4 weekend and on Monday, approximately 80 protesters were arrested in Washington DC who demanded action on DACA. On Monday, DACA recipients blocked the entry to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, demanding that Democrats legislation a solution. One of the protesters denounced Democrats as "false allies."
Yanez recently wrote an op-ed at The New York Times in which he described his background:
"After receiving my work permit in 2012, I have been fortunate to intern at four different Fortune 500 companies, the last one being Chevron. I recently signed my full-time offer with a well-respected global consulting firm called Accenture. By the year of 2025, I plan on starting my Executive MBA program at a top tier University. My end goal is to become an executive at a Fortune 500 company.
"I also proudly represent and I am part of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & Lakewood Church. I have been humbled to build relationships with some of the Houston’s finest people such as Dr. Laura Murillo and Mr. George Strake Jr, both of which are great friends of mine."