DACA support rally held in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DACA support rally held in Cedar Rapids

Posted: Updated:

On Wednesday afternoon, a large group of people walked along the busy streets of Cedar Rapids, armed with posters and their voices.

"Education not deportation" and "Stand for DACA, stand for justice" were two of the chants protesters said as they marched in support of DACA.

"We have these dreamers who came to this country, who came here with no ill will, of no choice of their own.  They're contributing, they're in school, they're working, they're making our culture and society better, and we want them to stay," Cindy Garlock said.

The protest called for a path to citizenship for Dreamers, as many marched from the Coe College campus library to the Linn County Courthouse, where they held a rally.

Currently, lawmakers at the Capitol are trying to come together to get a law passed on the immigration status of millions of Americans known as Dreamers. Dreamers are people brought into the country illegally as children that were federally protected under the DACA program to temporarily live, study and work in the country.  The program was put in place by the Obama Administration in 2012.

President Trump ordered an end to the DACA program by March 5, but two judges have now blocked that order.

"I've worked with immigrants and refugees for many years and I've seen the rhetoric that's coming out of Washington, and our state as well, and it's not what I support.  I don't think that's what we should be about as a people," Caleb Gates, an employee at the Catherine McAuley Center, said.

One bill that has gained support from the President was introduced this week by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. The bill is backed by fellow senator, Joni Ernst. It calls for a 10-year path to citizenship for Dreamers, along with border security increases, limiting new migration, and ending the diversity visa lottery. The bill is still being discussed in the senate.

Gates said he supported the path to citizenship, but said the bill comes at a cost.

"The way that this bill is held up, it is holding those DACA recipients hostage in order to fundamentally change our immigration legal system," he said.

Powered by Frankly