Minneapolis, MN – On the morning of December 20, after weeks of continued pressure, activists occupied Senator Klobuchar’s office with the goal of meeting with the senator directly to demand she introduce the American Dream and Promise Act in the Senate. The mobilization came less than two weeks after a militant street protest in front of Klobuchar’s office that ended with a promise to “be back.”
The action began with members and supporters of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) entering the building that houses Klobuchar’s office demanding to meet with the senator’s staff. The senator’s top local aides led participants to an office conference room for a formal meeting. Activists called once more for Klobuchar to introduce the American Dream and Promise Act, which passed the House 21 months ago and must be introduced in her Senate committee. The bill would permanently legalize over 3 million Dreamers and TPS recipients who currently have no other pathway to citizenship – and who are on the verge of losing their status at the hands of the Supreme Court.
Activists expressed anger and frustration over the senator’s inaction for immigrant rights during such a crucial time. They demanded to meet with Klobuchar directly, and stated they would not leave the office until Klobuchar herself spoke with them, staging a sit-in.
During this time, other members and supporters began to arrive and were forcefully pushed from the door of the building by building staff and were denied entry. They were told that Klobuchar’s office instructed them to not allow anyone inside. Even a member of the press was initially kept out, finally negotiating his way in.
When it was clear to the senator’s aides that the activists would not leave, they got Klobuchar to agree to speak directly with two MIRAC representatives. On a conference call from D.C., activists explained their demand directly to Klobuchar – introduce the American Dream and Promise Act immediately so it can be voted on in the Senate. Klobuchar verbally agreed to immediately bring this demand to Senators Schumer and Durbin to begin to take real action.
The sit-in concluded with a message from members on the ground to their supporters via social media livestream that their demand had been met – that Klobuchar herself spoke with them and agreed to take real steps to introduce the bill. MIRAC ended the mobilization for the day, but reminded supporters that we must continue the pressure and keep contacting Klobuchar and all our senators because the fight to defend DACA is not over. We must continue the fight for legalization for all now!
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