Led by immigrant youth known as Dreamers, nearly 300 immigrants and allies marched and rallied in Des Moines on June 15 to call for comprehensive immigration reform now. AFSC joined with 20 other organizations in planning the event.
OK, not really. But sometimes Jody Mashek’s job as Immigration Legal Service Director for AFSC in Iowa can feel a little like detective work.
Since the Obama administration began accepting applications for Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) last year, Jody and a team of volunteers have helped over 150 qualified immigrant youth apply and obtain lawful status in the United States for two years, with the hope of renewal.
Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform met with U.S. Rep. Tom Latham and staff at his Des Moines office on May 10, 2013. Hector Salamanca, AFSC Latino Youth Organizer, set up the meeting, and Sandra Sanchez, AFSC Iowa Immigrants Voice Program Director, facilitated a follow-up discussion.
By Hector Salamanca, AFSC Iowa Latino Youth Organizer Intern
I went to a recent town hall meeting in Boone, Iowa for a reason, and that was to ask Senator Chuck Grassley what his views were on the current Immigration bill. I was completely unprepared for what awaited me at the town hall and whether or not it was going to be a tough crowd or a supportive crowd that cared about immigration reform.
With help from AFSC, a group of Iowa Dream Activists call for and win driver's licenses. This January 21, 2013 clip is from KCCI TV in Des Moines, and includes footage of interviews with young people who are being denied drivers' licenses because of their immigration status. The activists were protesting outside of the Iowa Department of Transportation because the DOT was refusing to issue licenses.
Lizeth Ornelas is active with a group of Iowa Dreamers working with AFSC. In this two-minute video, she talks about the recent big win on driver's licenses and the current struggle for in-state tuition for Dreamers.
For more information, please contact Sandra Sanchez, AFSC Iowa Immigrants Voice Program Director, at SSanchez@afsc.org or 515-274-4851, ext. 11.
On Marting Luther King, Jr. Day, please join us for a press conference and peaceful gathering to ask DOT director Paul Trombino to change his mind about denying drivers’ licenses to Deferred Action youth. This is the time to act!
Getting her deferred action approval meant Yazmin, a longtime advocate for immigration policy reform who graduated from college last year, could get a job.
In June, when high school junior Ivania heard the news about a new immigration policy, she thought for a moment that this was it—that Congress had passed the DREAM Act. Maybe medical school was not too much of a stretch after all; maybe she would be able to qualify for grants and get a part-time job to pay for a psychology degree at the University of Iowa.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.