Latino Community Fears Uncertain Future for Dreamers in America

DES MOINES, Iowa -- 88 year-old Mary Campos has spent her life in the Des Moines Community and knows what it's like to be an unwanted minority.

"I went to McKinley School and I went to St. Anthony`s School and I graduated from St. Joseph Academy in (19)47," said Campos. "Then I found out that I wasn`t wanted in anybody's office, because I was brown and everybody else was white and that hurt."

But now, Campos says her heart is aching for the dreamers who may end up getting deported if President Trump ends DACA.

"I`m a civil service commissioner. I`ve been that for about 19 years for the City of Des Moines, you know, and I`m proud of that," said Campos. "I`ve tried to be very fair in things that I do. I know that there is such a thing as breaking the law and they came here unlawfully, but I don`t think we need to punish the children that were here. I just don`t think so."

Campos, a revered member of the Latino Community in Iowa, gets emotional when she thinks about dreamers being sent back to countries that may know nothing about.

"For someone like me, that (has) worked in this community all this time and the only rich thing that I've got out of it is to see them graduate or meet me on the street and (hear them) say 'boy, I`m glad you helped me learn how to read, because I just graduated from Iowa State or from the University of Iowa or you know, and it just breaks your heart."

Des Moines School Board Member Rob Barron says the loss of legal protection for the undocumented immigrants known as dreamers would not only have a terrible impact on young people and families but also on the local economy.

“For me, this is a moral issue, you know, you do right by people," said Barron. "You do right by people in need and I understands not everyone sees it that way, but they should also see it as an economic issue. These are folks who don`t necessarily work high wage jobs, but they work good jobs. They send their kids to our public schools. They spend money in our supermarkets, you know, they go to Adventureland and wherever else and they spend money here in the community. And the more fear that they have, or the more risk that they are at, to live and work in our communities, the less likely they are to reinvest their dollars back in our community."

If President Trump ends DACA, Barron believes it would be a tremendous blow to this state and this country in terms of a loss in human capital, because he says the dreamers are needed, especially in Iowa; to grow the populations of cities and towns across the state and help support the economy.