A so-called “DREAMer” from northwest Iowa who was brought into the U.S. illegally by his parents when he was one isn’t sure what he’d do if a proposal Congressman Steve King shepherded through the House becomes law.
Eduardo Rodrigues has lived in Orange City since he was a first grader.
“When I first arrived there, it was me and my cousins who were the only Latinos at the elementary school, but as the community has changed, more and more newcomers have come,” Rodrigues says.
According to Rodrigues, nearly one out of four students in Orange City elementary schools are now Latino.
Rodrigues recently graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, got temporary legal status from an Obama Administration order and was hired to lead afterschool programs in Sioux County. Congressman King sponsored an amendment which passed the House to undo that order and if it becomes law, Rodrigues says he doesn’t know what he’d do.
“Live under the shadows again as we once did, I probably would,” Rodrigues says, “or go a country I really don’t know.”
Rodrigues was a panelist at an immigration forum in Ames on Friday.
“I didn’t tell a single soul, until I was 21, that I was undocumented, so to be here and feel so supported and loved is just amazing and it’s a huge blessing,” Rodrigues said.
Advocates say it’s difficult to get so-called DREAMers like Rodrigues to register for temporary legal status because they fear it may one day lead to deportation.
Congressman King issued a statement Friday, saying he would not comment on “political initiatives” while flags are flying at half staff in Iowa to honor Colonel Bud Day, a Sioux City native and war hero who died this week in Florida.