Immigration reform is currently dead in a gridlocked congress.A short Youtube video involves Congressman Steve King and two undocumented immigrants in Okoboji. And it's making waves across the country. "We found out that there was going to be a fundraiser that he was hosting. So, we decided to go and sort of have a conversation with him, to see where he's coming from. He's been trying to get rid of DACA and attacking DREAMers over and over again," said DREAMer Erika Andiola.
Erika's story is not uncommon. She was brought to America by her mother at 11-years-old.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, was initiated by President Obama in 2012. Those under the age of 31 as of June 15th of 2012 and brought by their parents no longer feared deportation.But the border bill passed by House Republicans last week and championed by Congressman King would remove that protection. "I think that, unfortunately, there's been this really long history of people speaking for the undocumented community-instead of allowing us to talk for ourselves. I think that's the reason that it was so important for the DREAMer movement to grow," said Andiola. Erika has heard criticism since her encounter on Monday. Some have claimed she intentionally set the congressman up, but she said that's not true. "I think he himself has already set himself up for that. All I did and you can on the video, is try and have a civil conversation with him. At least I was being very calm and I never actually raised my voice to him. I was trying to have a conversation," she said. Erika said that most people don't understand that many undocumented were brought by their parents with no choice. She said they grew up here, work here and pay taxes here. She said it's redefined what it means to be an American. "There are different ways to define someone being an American. I think if you've been here since you were a child and been taught to love this country, you're willing to sacrifice so much to make it better. I've given so much of my life to be able to change what's happening-to be able to help people, like my friends, who are right now detained in detention centers for over a year without having any criminal record. I do it so they won't be there and people like my mom won't be deported," said Andiola. We reached out to Congressman King's office but he was unavailable for comment.