News: Crowd braves freezing temps to pray rosary for DACA recipients

November 7, 2019

Mother and son at prayer service

About 60 people withstood a below-freezing temperature Thursday night to pray the rosary for DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, at the Catholic Pastoral Center.null

On Nov. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on three consolidated court cases that address whether the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy should remain or end.

Diego Balmaceda, of St. Anthony Parish in Des Moines, carried a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the prayer service. A DACA recipient himself, he prayed for the whole DACA community.

“I trust in God that he has something planned for us,” Balmaceda said.

His mother, Diana Balmaceda, said, “This is their country. We love it here and we know God is loving us and we never stop praying.”

There are about 3,000 young people in Iowa whose immigration status falls under DACA including Kenia Calderon, of Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines. Originally from El Salvador, her family fled when she was 11 years old, before the violence in her home country grew.

She told the crowd that, with their fate to be determined at the Supreme Court, they cannot send letters or call the justices.

“Right now, we really have to rely on faith that they will uphold the protection that has been around for seven years,” she said.

She fears for the young parents who have DACA protection and have children who are Americans.

“I’m nervous but not for me but for others, mostly parents with U.S. citizen children,” she said. “I don’t want any more families to be separated.”