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Immigrant rights protest makes noise in support of DACA outside Minnesota Twins game

By Montana Hirsch |
August 29, 2022
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Protest in support of DACA Outside Minnesota Twins Game
Protest in support of DACA Outside Minnesota Twins Game (Photo by Brad Sigal)

Minneapolis, MN - On Sunday, August 28, dozens of protesters gathered with signs, noisemakers and flyers across the street from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. The demonstration was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and is also part of a national call to action for DACA by the Legalization for All Network, coinciding with the 52nd anniversary of the historic Chicano Moratorium in Los Angeles, California.

Protesters gathered in support of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, marking ten years since the program was implemented in 2012.

DACA is a temporary program for young immigrants – the Dreamers - brought to the U.S. as children, that acts to shield young immigrants from deportation and allow them to work. In the ten years since the program was implemented, Congress has done nothing to provide permanent protection for these young immigrants. The DACA program, and the lives of almost 800,000 young people, is still in limbo.

President Biden finally took action to codify the program, but this will still not ensure the program is protected. It is likely that an upcoming decision before the Supreme Court will end the program forever. Demonstrators handed out flyers on all street corners by one of the stadium’s entrances with information about DACA and phone numbers to call their senators to demand that they pass the American Dream and Promise Act, a bill that would permanently legalize people with DACA, TPS and DED. The bill passed the House in March 2021, but after a year and a half, it still sits in the Senate.

The action kicked off with the chant: “D-A-C-A, immigrants are here to stay!” Demonstrators held a banner that read: “10 years of DACA = 10 years of waiting, MIRAC demands citizenship now!” The crowd waved signs, shook noisemakers and cheered as Miguel Hernandez, a member of MIRAC, took the mic.

“Every two years people with DACA have to go through the process of applying again, and not knowing whether they can stay here,” Hernandez said, “this is unjustifiable.” He reminded the crowd of the limbo that DACA recipients continue to live in, giving a brief overview of the program and where it stands ten years after being implemented. Before passing back the mic, he introduced the Bikers Riding Against Police Brutality (BRAPB) who showed up in support, revving their bike engines to add to the noise making and chanting.

Rebecca Chang of Minnesota 8, a local organization that fights to end detention and deportation in Southeast Asian communities, spoke next, explaining to the crowd how “DACA and Southeast Asian deportation are all part of the same system. It’s all part of the government that seeks to surveil and control people for migrating.” She reminded the crowd that migration “is something that people and other animals have done forever on this planet, but with colonialism and imperialism, the West has exacerbated migration through extracting profits” from the Global South, creating conditions that cause forced migration.

Though many Twins fans took the flyers that were handed to them, some passed by apathetically. William Martinez, another speaker from MIRAC, addressed these Twins fans, reminding them of a former Latino Twins player and coach, stating, “You have these people who say: ‘Oh I love Tony Oliva, Tony Oliva was the best!’ but when we ask you to take a paper and say that immigrants are welcome here, you turn your back. So you know what? You are a shame.” Later on, a crowd of Twins fans who took the flyers raised their fists and cheered in support as they walked by the demonstrators chanting “Say it loud! Say it clear! Immigrants are welcome here!”

The protest was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and was part of a national call to action by the Legalization for All Network.

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