Protesters rallied outside of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Minneapolis office on Thursday, December 8. They demanded that the U.S. Senate act immediately to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, or DACA, before time runs out. Credit: Kerem Yücel | MPR News

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Protesters gathered outside of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office in Minneapolis on Thursday, demanding the U.S. Senate pass the American Dream and Promise Act.

The protest comes as recent court action threatens the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from being deported. According to the Associated Press, no new applicants for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals have been allowed since October 31, after a U.S. district judge declared the program illegal. For now, those in the program are allowed to continue it and renew their applications.

If the American Dream and Promise Act is passed, it would offer permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship for recipients of both Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and temporary protected status before their status expires.

Potest people hold a sign that reads “10 years of DACA equals 10 years of waiting,” alluding to the recipients who have waited to gain permanent citizenship. Credit: Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The Biden Administration has expanded temporary protected status, or TPS, to cover different countries such as Afghanistan, Cameroon and Ukraine. In November he announced an 18-month extension for TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Sudan through June 2024.

In 2021, the U.S. House passed the American Dream and Promise Act but it has remained stuck in Senate.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee led the protest in Minneapolis.

“What do we want? The Dream Act! When do we want it? Now!” was chanted by the group.

“Immigrants are under attack! Amy, time for you to act,” people also yelled.

Klobuchar and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith have voiced their support for the DREAM Act in the past but with a split Senate, the vote has struggled to pass. Credit: Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Nearly 10 percent of Minnesota residents were immigrants as in 2020, according to the American Immigration Council, which reports Minnesota is home to over 5,000 DACA recipients and approximately 95,000 undocumented immigrants.

A Klobuchar spokesperson provided MPR News with a comment Thursday evening.

“Senator Klobuchar is one of the leaders in Congress working to reform our immigration system,” said the statement. “She strongly supports passing the DREAM Act and has voted for and supported numerous bills for citizenship for DREAMers. Members of our office met with representatives of this group today to discuss the urgency of this issue and the path forward.”

The Associated Press reports that “DACA is expected to go to the Supreme Court for a third time.”

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Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is an associate digital producer for MPR News.

Kerem Yücel

Kerem Yücel is the senior visual journalist for MPR News.