Legal experts say a federal court’s decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, means more waiting for Iowans.
The court’s ruling in Texas last week found DACA unconstitutional, which means many peoples’ status is up in the air, according to Jody Mashek, co-legal director at Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice.
She says people can still apply for DACA, but their applications won’t go anywhere.
“It’s got to be excruciating for people who have an initial application pending, probably a little scary, too,” Mashek says. “They’ve voluntarily submitted their information to the federal government, when maybe the federal government most likely did not have any knowledge of them.”
Mashek says people in Iowa who either just applied for or were about to apply for DACA are now in a state of limbo.
“Based on what I’m hearing, it’s just kind of like, ‘Yeah, what else is new?’” she says. “Like DACA has just been so all over the place for four years and there have been so many times when we thought ‘Okay, this is it.’”
Mashek says the court’s decision is not necessarily final, as the case still needs to go through the appeals process. She estimates there are at least 20 people on her organization’s waiting list to apply for DACA.
Before proceeding, the agency is waiting for more guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)