Hilario Yanez once praised President Barack Obama for his executive order that protected Yanez and hundreds of thousands of other illegal aliens from deportation, gave them work permits, and allowed them to attend American colleges and universities.
“Thanks to Obama’s executive order, I saw a window of opportunity to live the American dream,” Yanez said in a letter he wrote as part of a New York Times project in which he and dozens of other illegal aliens sang the praises of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. Yanez is now a graduate of the University of Houston, where he was a student when he contributed to the Times.
But Yanez has since come to appreciate President Donald Trump and told Fox & Friends Weekend that he believes the Republican president has shown “leadership and compassion” toward him and other “Dreamers.”
“Hilario Yanez, who goes by Eli, said Trump showed courage to tackle the illegal immigration issue comprehensively during his first year in office,” Fox reported.
“Here’s a guy who wants to provide a pathway to citizenship for myself and really make a difference in my life,” said Yanez, who works as a technology analyst at Accenture Technology in Houston.
Yanez said, on the other hand, Democrat leaders have “no clear message” on immigration other than to “us[e] us as pawns,” Fox reported.
Trump has proposed an immigration framework that would provide amnesty and an eventual pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million illegal aliens. His plan also includes more border security, an end to the lottery visa system, and an end to chain migration, which allows legal immigration based on family relations.
Yanez also told Fox he would support a border wall and said he is in favor of skilled-based immigration law, even if his mother, who brought him to the United States illegally when he was one-year-old, would probably not qualify under such a system.
“I think it’s time for people who want to come to the United States to focus … on skills so [they] contribute to the American economy right way,” Yanez, who was born in Mexico, told Fox.
Yanez said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) should not shut down the federal government over DACA.
“There is plenty of time on the table to fix this,” Yanez told Fox. “March 5 is the deadline.”
Yanez also said, if asked, he would serve in the U.S. military.
“I thank God for being homeless, growing up without a father, living in a rough neighborhood, and most importantly for being undocumented,” Yanez wrote in the Times. “These struggles and challenges have made me the person I am today.”