DES MOINES, Iowa — A handful of eyes were glued to the TV in Senator Joni Ernst’s downtown office, listening as President Trump announced he would make a decision on the future of DACA either late Friday or over the weekend.
Several Iowans held a sit-in at the senator’s office, demanding a showing of support for DACA by Senator Ernst.
DACA is an Obama-era policy commonly known as the Dream Act. It allows children of illegal immigrants to stay in the country if they came to the U.S. before the age of 16, are in school or employed, and do not have a criminal record.
“These young people have had an opportunity to go to school, to have full time jobs, to be able to do the things that every American has an opportunity to do. To have this reversed is to say to them that they are not wanted here, they’re not allowed to be here,” said Joe Henry, Vice President of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa.
The group is asking Senator Ernst follow in the footsteps of another Iowa Republican.
“I mean one of the people I think of a lot is the Republican governor Robert Ray, who opened the doors when the people of southeast Asia needed a place to go,” said protester Kathleen McQuillen
McQuillen says she has serious concerns should DCA be phased out.
“They’ve come, they’ve established themselves, they’re living among us as our neighbors, as our friends, as our coworkers, and it’s absolutely terrifying to think that they will be picked up and sent back to this home they don’t know,” she said.
At the time of publication, Senator Ernst has not issued a response to the group.