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Minneapolis immigrant rights protest demanding DACA shuts down rush-hour traffic

By staff

MIRAC blocks downtown street demanding demanding legalization for all.

Minneapolis, MN – More than 150 people protested December 8 in downtown Minneapolis, blocking Washington Avenue near Interstate 35W in for two hours at rush hour. They protested outside of Senator Amy Klobuchar's office demanding that the U.S. Senate act immediately to legalize people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) temporary immigration status.

The protest, organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), is part of a national push to get the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act during Congress’s lame duck session this month. The Act was passed by the House of Representatives in 2021, but has languished in the Senate. With Democrats losing control of the House of Representatives starting in January, and with right-wing courts on the verge of ending the DACA program as well as threatening Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the future of more than a million immigrants and their families hangs in the balance.

If DACA and TPS are ended by right-wing courts without Congress taking action to legalize people with those statuses, they will be thrust into undocumented status and at risk of deportation after having grown up here and built a life here for decades.

The protesters focused on Senator Klobuchar because she is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the Dream Act is stuck. Feeling the pressure as the protest neared, both Senator Klobuchar and Senator Tina Smith's office agreed to meetings with activists and community members the day of the protest. While Democratic senators from other states have been actively pushing on social media about the urgency for the Senate to take action this month, Minnesota's senators have not shown such leadership.

At the end of the protest, the speakers led the crowd in a chant of “We'll be back!”

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