NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - The future remains uncertain for so-called dreamers gathered in Brentwood, Long Island, to criticize President Donald Trump after his State of the Union address.
"My duty and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber is to defend Americans," Trump said Tuesday night. "To protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American dream. Because Americans are dreamers, too."
Blanca Villanueva, whose parents are immigrants, said at Wednesday's rally that Trump "knows nothing" about immigration policy and the needs of her community.
Nearly 700,000 unauthorized immigrants who call themselves "dreamers" under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
Trump ended the program and punted to Congress to find a solution that includes comprehensive immigration reform and funding for a border wall. The president has set March 5 deadline but has signaled he might extend it if a deal appears imminent.
For the undocumented—and the dreamers—that is simply not good enough when families hang in the balance.
"Last night's address was a true statement of the real intentions this president has towards immigrants and communities of color," DACA recipient Francis Ma of the New York Immigration Coalition said.
Another bone of contention is that the president didn't lay out a plan for immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian program granting access to Salvadorians after a pair of devastating earthquakes struck in 2001. The program was expanded to include Haitians fleeing the 2010 earthquake.
Edgar Lazo has lived in the United States under TPS for 17 years. He said takes issue with the president equating hardworking immigrants with criminals.