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Minneapolis protesters demand Senate pass bill to legalize immigrants with DACA

By staff |
October 25, 2022
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Protest at Senator Klobuchar’s office demands U.S. Senate take action to legaliz
Protest at Senator Klobuchar’s office demands U.S. Senate take action to legalize immigrants with DACA. (Fight Back! News/Brad Sigal)

Minneapolis, MN - On Friday, October 21, more than 50 protesters gathered with signs, banners and sidewalk chalk outside of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office to demand that the U.S. Senate take action to legalize immigrants with DACA, a program which is currently under attack. The protest was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC). 

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, recently passed its ten-year mark since being implemented in 2012. It is a temporary program for young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, in order to shield them from deportation and allow them to work. For 10 years, Congress has done nothing to provide permanent protection for these young immigrants as they have built lives, families and careers in the U.S. The DACA program – and the lives of almost 800,000 young people – has been in limbo for the past ten years, and now, even this limbo status is in danger. 

Earlier this month, The Fifth District Court sided with anti-immigrant Judge Andrew Hanen and maintained that the DACA program partially ended, a decision Judge Hanen ordered a year ago. The court sent the decision back to Judge Hanen for a final decision, in order to allow him to review the federal government’s updated DACA regulations that were recently implemented by President Biden. Whatever Hanen decides, the fate of DACA is expected to end up going to the Supreme Court. Right now, only Congress can permanently protect DACA recipients. 

The American Dream and Promise Act is a bill that will permanently legalize people with DACA status as well as people with a couple other temporary immigration statuses. The bill passed the House of Representatives in March 2021, and President Biden has expressed his support for it. But a year and a half after the House passed the bill, it still sits languishing in the Senate. 

A group of about 20 of the protesters went into Senator Klobuchar’s office. They read and then delivered a letter to one of the senator’s aides expressing the urgency for Congress to act before the end of this congressional session. There is urgency because right-wing judges seem intent on ending DACA and throwing hundreds of thousands of people into undocumented status. And many analysts predict that the Republicans will take control of either the U.S. House or Senate or both in the midterm elections on November 8. If that happens, the possibility of Congressional action to legalize people with DACA becomes much smaller, given the extreme anti-immigrant politics that dominate the Republican Party.

In this context, demonstrators demanded that Senator Klobuchar take the lead in getting the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act or similar legislation before the end of the year.