DACA Recipient to Kamala Harris: I Am Tired Of My Legal Status Being A Political Bargaining Chip


At a CNN-hosted town hall Monday night, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was told by a DACA recipient that she is tired of her legal status being used a "bargaining chip." The woman, Cecilia Martinez, was introduced by CNN host Jake Tapper as an undocumented immigrant brought to the U.S. through no fault of their own.

Harris, thanking the woman, Cecilia Martinez, for her "courage," said she stands with her as President Trump tries to "vilify" people like her. Harris, however, later said she would under no circumstance vote to appropriate money for the wall even if it involved a trade to put DACA recipients on a path toward citizenship.

JAKE TAPPER, HOST: One issue on the table is the fate of DACA recipients, that stands for the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children through no fault of their own.

Cecilia Martinez was born in Mexico. Her parents brought her to the U.S. as a baby. She grew up here in Iowa.

CECILIA MARTINEZ, QUESTIONER: Good evening. Thank you. So I am a DACA recipient, and I'm tired of being used as a bargaining chip. I worry about my future and the future of other DACA recipients and those still without legal status, some of whom are our own parents. What solutions do you see to help protect the parents of DACA recipients or those for which there is no clear path to citizenship?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thank you, first of all, for your courage in standing up and speaking out. Daca, deferred action for childhood arrivals. I have served since I've been in the United States Senate on the Homeland Security Committee of the Senate and consistently since day one, when it came to the confirmation process, much less the oversight process of who would head the Department of Homeland Security, I have had serious concerns about the fact that they are refusing to keep America's promise to you and everyone who went through that process. And it is wrong...

So I will say to you that I stand with you. There are so many who do, and we should not be trading on your life for the sake of the political games that this president is playing in trying to vilify young people like you, who are doing nothing except being productive and believing in and living the American dream.

Watch the full segment on undocumented immigrants:

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