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Minnesota activists bring day-late Xmas cheer to Sen. Klobuchar demanding urgent action on Clean Dream Act

By staff |
December 27, 2017
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Minnesota activists fight for Clean Dream Act
Minnesota activists fight for Clean Dream Act (Fight Back! News/staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On the day after Christmas, Dec. 26, a group of activists from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) brought day-late gift-wrapped ‘presents’ and a Christmas tree to the Minneapolis office of Senator Amy Klobuchar emblazoned with messages of “Clean Dream Act now,” “Keep families together” and “No more deportations.”

The activists arrived at Senator Klobuchar’s office with the tree and gift-wrapped signs to express the fact that every day that Congress fails to pass a Clean Dream Act is a day too late. President Trump announced the end of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in September without anything to replace it. DACA has been shielding over 800,000 immigrant youth from deportation. Every day, DACA status expires for around 122 more immigrant youth, exposing them to immediate threat of deportation by the Trump administration.

When the MIRAC delegation arrived at Senator Klobuchar’s office, they had a meeting with Senator Klobuchar’s state director, Ben Hill. He led off by saying that Senator Klobuchar agrees with the need for a legislative fix for DACA recipients. Hill also said that one of the reasons Klobuchar voted against the continuing resolution to fund Congress’s budget last week was because it didn’t include a solution for immigrant youth who are losing their DACA status. Votes on the budget are one of the few pressure points the Democrats have in the Republican-controlled Congress, since some Democratic votes are required to pass it. Despite many Democrats voting against it, the Senate Democratic leadership supported and helped to pass the continuing resolution, temporarily funding the government again until Jan. 19, setting the stage for another showdown.

The delegation of MIRAC members at Senator Klobuchar’s office included a high school student who is a DACA recipient, along with several other immigrants and supporters. The DACA recipient, a 16-year-old Minneapolis high school student, starkly expressed the urgency of the situation, saying “my days are numbered” and expressing that she is not the only one – there are thousands more in her situation in Minnesota. She demanded immediate action to protect immigrant youth.

The members of the MIRAC delegation said that they expect Minnesota’s senators and representatives to not just vote the right way, but to take the next step and “stick their necks out” by actively working to convince the leadership of their party to make a stand for immigrant youth and refuse to vote for another budget before the upcoming Jan. 19 budget deadline unless there is a Clean Dream Act, even if that means a government shutdown. They said the rallying cry should be “No Clean Dream Act, no budget.”

Members of the group also emphasized the importance of a “Clean” Dream Act, which means that the legalization of young immigrants must not be paired with repression and deportations of other immigrants, such as increased border militarization and increased raids on immigrants in their communities and workplaces. They spoke about how it doesn’t make sense to try to legalize some young immigrants while targeting their parents and community members for deportation. News reports say some Democratic congressional leaders are negotiating with Republicans for this type of repressive legislation.

The activists said they will keep the pressure on Senator Klobuchar and all Minnesota congress members to help lead the way to pass a Clean Dream Act before the next congressional budget deadline Jan. 19.