Iowa State University offers DACA recipients an education

By Hugo Bolanos


Carolina Del Mar, senior, majoring in Biology is a resident of Puerto Rico and chose Iowa State due to the great atmosphere she felt while taking a campus tour.

A record number enrollment is just one of the few matters on topic at Iowa State University. With the presidential elections on the verge, there happen to be a lot of subjects that need to be touched, one being immigration. Immigration is something that most students worry least about, because they have studying and keeping up with grades to focus on.

Iowa State attracts many foreign students, some having DACA. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; it is an immigration policy that allows undocumented children who were brought here by their parents before 2007 and were under the age of 16, to receive lawful status and exemption from deportation.

Being allowed to get a social security and work permit are the benefits of DACA, giving the chance for those recipients to continue their education and venture into a more successful future.

Iowa State University seems to be a popular school for DACA recipients, for the enrollment set a record of 36,660. The number of U.S. nonresident undergraduate enrollment increased by 899 students from last year’s record of 8,611.

“Some of those kids can potentially go on and do great things in the future” stated Nicolas Orrante, junior, majoring in pre-business. “If we deprive them of the opportunity then we kind of deprive our growth as a country” Orrante added. Orrante is not affected by DACA, but has family whom were illegal at some point in time.


Nicolas Orrante, junior in pre-business, opens up about his views on DACA students at Iowa State University.

Although Iowa State offers their education to DACA students, ISU tuition is yet to be configured. If DACA students pay instate taxes, they will receive in-state tuition, but as some immigrants are illegal they could not have a way to pay their share of taxes so they tend to receive out of state or even international tuition fees.

DACA not only allows students to pursue a higher education, but also allows them to receive a work permit. “Many students have a difficult time with finances in college, so a work permit would definitely allow DACA students to help pay loans or help pay for groceries” said Carolina Del Mar, senior, majoring in biology. “It sure helps me gain some extra cash,” Del Mar later stated.

Student Affairs, which handles issues pertaining to student life and the university; commented that they are working on forming a group of students which fall in the category of DACA. Student Affairs will strive on making DACA students more welcomed and giving them a more comfortable environment to get educated for the years to come.

As of now, the upcoming elections in November will determine whether or not Obama’s immigration action, DACA will continue to be in place. Meaning that the future of about 5 million DACA recipients will be put on hold until the final ballot is tallied. It will be the decision of the new president and his administration whether the continuation of this policy will be updated. Until then, DACA students at Iowa State University will just have to keep their minds full with current college course work.


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