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Iowa DREAMers React to Supreme Court Ruling

Banners in from of the Supreme Court building say "Homeish" and "Here to stay." There are people with masks holding up the signs.
Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient Roberto Martinez, left, celebrates with other DACA recipients in front of the Supreme Court on Thursday in Washington.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against the Trump administration and upheld Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or more commonly known as DACA. The recipients are known as DREAMers, and those in Iowa and throughout the United States can now stay in the country without fear of deportation.

The decision was close, but by a ruling of 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to allow DACA recipients to stay in the country without fear of deportation. According to the American Immigration Council website, there are about 2,500 DACA recipients in Iowa and more than 600,000 in the U.S.

Mónica Reyes and her sister Nilvia founded DREAM Iowa to provide an ally network for immigrant Iowans. Reyes said this decision for DACA recipients is the first step in a long journey for all immigrants.

“I hope that this decision by the Supreme Court gives Iowans some clarity on the issue of immigration reform and the urgent need for a more permanent solution for all undocumented immigrants,” Reyes said.

Reyes and her family left an abusive situation in Mexico for a better life in the United States. She said she hopes to help other immigrants also have a better life.

Valeria Ramos is a DACA recipient in Iowa City. She and her family came from Chihuahua, Mexico. She is a 20-year-old student at Kirkwood Community College.

“It’s really nice that they created something like this for children that we…didn’t decide to come here, we were just brought here,” Ramos said. “It helps out all these children that didn’t decide to come here, but this has now become our home and we’re trying to build a life here.”

Many DREAMers said there is still much work to be done, like providing a path to full citizenship. Kenia Calderon works as an advocate to ensure this will happen some day.

“I think this decision, the Supreme Court decision, lets us know that there is more work to be done. DACA has always been seen as a Band-Aid solution to a much larger cause,” Calderon said.

DACA recipients must apply for their status and be deemed qualified before they are allowed to work legally and pay taxes. DREAMers in Iowa say they plan to continue their lives without fear of deportation.

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines