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Local immigration attorney reacts to State of the Union

President Trump called for compromise on immigration

SALEM, Va. – In President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, he called on lawmakers to compromise on immigration, while pushing for a border wall and ending the visa lottery and family-based migration.

"Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives,” Trump said.

But local immigration attorney Christine Poarch said that's not true.

"U.S. citizens can only petition for their spouses, their children, their siblings and their parents," Poarch said.

Poarch said she's glad Trump called on lawmakers to include a path to citizenship for the 1.8 million DACA recipients who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. 10 News watched the State of the Union with some of those DACA recipients Tuesday night.

"We’re really hoping for some form of security. We've been hearing this and that, and we're not really certain what's going to happen to us," DACA recipient Maria Salazar Avila said.

Poarch said the future of immigration as a whole remains uncertain.

"It was incredibly divisive and to a great extent misleading. I think it furthers the idea that there is a full assault on lawful immigration; that it was never about unlawful or undocumented immigration to begin with," Poarch said.

Yet she's hopeful lawmakers can compromise on a plan to improve the system without creating too many restraints.

"Most American people want a reasonable, lawful immigration system. And certainly, that is not what the immigration system is right now, and that is not what has been promised thus far in proposed legislation," Poarch said.