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."