© 2021 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
640 WOI-AM (Ames) will be off air on Tuesday, December 7th, at 3pm for approximately one hour for maintenance.
IPR News
Iowa Public Radio's Culture and Diversity reports go in-depth to examine what it is like to be a minority in Iowa. The reports look at the issues, history, cultural traditions, challenges and future of each diverse group of people that are part of Iowa. Correspondent Rob Dillard and other IPR reporters tell the stories by talking with the leaders and having intimate discussions with some members of each group, and taking listeners to the places that exemplify these communities.Iowa Public Radio's Culture and Diversity reporting is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation.

DACA Recipients Advised To Renew ASAP

Sarah Boden/IPR File
People rally at the "Day without Immigrants" march in Des Moines. (02/17/2017.)

In Iowa an estimated 6,000 people are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the country as kids to live and work in the U.S.. 

President Trump is considering ending the program and on Friday a spokeswoman said DACA is under review. In the past, the president has signaled compassionate feelings for DACA recipients, but now that he's facing legal and political pressure, the future for the Obama-era program looks dim.

This is leaving many DACA recipients in limbo, as they have to renew their permits every two years.

Ann Naffier is a managing attorney at Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors, a legal nonprofit specializing in immigration. She says DACA recipients should turn in their renewal applications ASAP.

"There’s always that possibility that even if President Trump rescinds DACA, that he might continue to allow the people who already have applications pending to be considered for approval," she explains. 

An application costs $495. People risk losing that money if the president decides to end DACA completely.

Naffier says if DACA does end, it will be terrible not only for her clients but the entire state.

"I see my DACA clients, I see them in my bank. I see them working for the state government. I know they're in medical school, I know they're in law school, I know they are teachers in our public schools and our private schools," Naffier says. "It’s going to be a huge number of very, very capable workers, professional workers, who are suddenly not going to have jobs. Obviously that’s going to affect them. But it’s going affect all the organizations they work for as well."