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Immigrant rights activists at budget hearing demand Minneapolis city council fund Municipal ID and support DACA

By staff

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Minneapolis, MN – Members of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) testified at the Minneapolis city council public hearing on the city budget on November 10. This was the first of three public hearings the city will hold on the 2023 budget.

The MIRAC members who spoke called on the city to fund the Municipal ID program and to create a fund to help Minneapolis residents with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status to pay for the expensive renewal fees. These two proposals are part of MIRAC’s Immigrant Power Now platform that was launched earlier this year, with ten demands for the city that would improve the lives of Minneapolis’s immigrant residents.

MIRAC member Memo Perez testified, “I’m here with the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee to strongly urge the council to include two important issues in the city’s budget. One is funding the implementation of Municipal ID which was already passed in 2018 but yet to be implemented. It’s a long-overdue task which must be done now for the benefit of not only immigrants, but anyone in the city that benefits from a form of valid ID for things like gender identity, interactions with law enforcement, finding housing and day-to-day acts like verifying purchases.”

MIRAC member Julia Pearlstein declared, “I’m speaking in support of making space in the budget to fund DACA,” and further testified, “while DACA is under threat the least that we can do to show our support in our city, to our community, to people, many of who are in my generation who are working to help our city economy, who are providing their talents to our city, the least we can do is provide them with financial relief. DACA applications cost $495 and DACA recipients have to reapply for DACA every two years, and that is just a huge amount for working people to have to pay every two years.”

MIRAC is also planning to mobilize for the two remaining public hearings on the city budget on November 15 and December 6 at 6 p.m. at Minneapolis City Hall.

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