DES MOINES, Iowa — Monica Reyes is the lead activist for DREAM Iowa, a statewide organization that supports the rights of immigrants. DREAM Iowa began as a Facebook group in 2012 in response to DACA, and is now in the process of becoming a 501(c)(3).
“I’m a dreamer,” said Reyes. “I was brought here when I was three years old from Mexico and I have been here since then. I’m now 26, almost 27, and in 2012 I was able to apply for DACA.”
Reyes says the application became available in August of 2012, and by October she was granted deferred action. After that, Reyes got a social security number, a driver’s license, and a work permit. Reyes has done well here in Iowa, and says she’s appreciative of the DACA program for the doors it opened for her.
“Within the first year I was able to buy a house, and then years after that I was able to finish my education at the University of Northern Iowa and I started my career,” said Reyes. “Right now I’m a mortgage lender here in the Des Moines area, and I get to help people achieve the American dream.”
And that’s what Reyes wants not only for other dreamers, but for all undocumented immigrants.
“Who doesn’t want hard working people that want a better future for their families to be part of this country and contribute?” said Reyes.
President Trump’s decision to end DACA did not take Reyes by surprise. She expected this day would come and says even when she applied for deferred action she always knew DACA was a temporary fix, because it was an executive order and not a legislative solution. That’s why she’s hoping President Trump’s decision to end DACA will present an opportunity for Congress to finally come up with a more comprehensive solution.
“Why not fix the broken immigration system that we have as a country,” said Reyes. “Why not fix it so that it is more elastic and efficient?”