Members attend Immigrant Allies meeting with Representative Braley

On August 22, CCI Action Fund members attended a roundtable hosted by Marshalltown’s Immigrant Allies with Representative Bruce Braley in Marshalltown, Iowa. CCI joined approximately 20 community members to hear Rep. Braley and four inspirational leaders in the local movement speak:

  • Chief Mike Tupper of the Marshalltown Police Department spoke from a law enforcement perspective – he explained that he cares about his community, and doesn’t want people to be afraid of police when they’re in danger or need of help – regardless of their immigration status.
  • Eren Sanchez is a young immigrant who recently received her work authorization and social security number, as she qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA is a program that gives work authorization and a social security number to children of aspiring Americans born outside of the United States). Eren spoke about how happy she was to have DACA, but is frustrated that her parents are still in the shadows, and can’t enjoy something as simple as getting a driver’s license.
  • Sue Underwood from MechDyne, a global company based in Marshalltown, was there to talk about immigration reform from the standpoint of an employer. She spoke about how difficult it is to hire the highly skilled workers they need – which at times can be foreign nationals. She wants the H1-B process to be more friendly so they can bring in the talent needed for their business.
  • Maria Alvarez, a CCI member, was there to speak from the perspective of a DREAMer and the mom of a citizen baby. Maria recently received her documents through DACA this summer, and was finally able to get her driver’s license. She spoke of her relief when she got her work permit and social security card, but she also expressed sadness. Maria explained that she would like to be able to travel to Mexico to have her grandparents meet her baby daughter – but she can’t travel outside of the United States under DACA.

After the community speakers finished, Rep. Braley spoke briefly in support of immigration reform, and emphasized the importance of personal stories in the battle for fair, humane reform – because that’s what legislators take with them back to DC.




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