CORRECTION: The previous story mentioned the wrong amount of DACA recipients in the U.S. There are approximately 600,000 are DACA recipients currently living in the United States and roughly 3.6 million Dreamers. We are sorry for the error.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The pathway to citizenship isn’t set in stone for kids looking for a better life in the United States.
Northwestern College professor Jason Lief said the future of DACA is uncertain. More than 3 million “dreamers” currently live in the United States, 600,000 of which are DACA recipients. In Iowa, there are roughly 2,400 DACA recipients.
“Obama instituted DACA through executive action. And so, the challenges to DACA are primarily about the way in which it’s instituted. Right now, there’s a challenge in the court system and it’s been ruled unconstitutional,” said Lief.
Lief also works part-time for the National Immigration Forum. Earlier this month, he met with representatives of Senator Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. Lief said politicians are aware this issue needs to be addressed.
“Needs to be something done and everybody knows it. You know, every office you talk to whether it’s Democrats, Senator Klobuchar, Senator Grassley and Ernst, they all know that something has to be done. Nobody wants to send any of these dreamers back to whatever country they came from,” said Lief.
Lief said half of his neighbors in Sioux Center are Guatemalan and he doesn’t want to lose these community members.
“You get to know them. You know their families and churches and communities, and you get to see the positive ways in which they are impacting our community,” said Lief.
Lief said losing the immigrant population would also have a negative impact on Sioux Center’s economy. He said hopes these conversations give Congress reason to make legislation that gives dreamers a path to citizenship.