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Lt. Governor Tina Smith and Community Advocates Urge Congress to Support Passage of the Dream Act

11/29/2017 2:23:27 PM

Nearly 6,300 Minnesotans would be at risk of deportation if DACA is ended without a legislative solution
Removing DACA eligible-workers from the state would cost Minnesota’s economy an estimated $387 million per year
ST. PAUL, MN – Lt. Governor Tina Smith, State Senator Melisa Franzen, and community advocates today urged the United States Congress to support the passage of the Dream Act before the end of the year. Without Congressional action, more than 800,000 individuals brought to this country as children will lose their legal status on March 5, 2018. However, it is estimated that 22,000 DACA recipients will lose their legal status before March 2018 because they were unable to file renewals by an arbitrarily imposed October 5, 2017 deadline.
“Dreamers are our friends, neighbors, and family members. They are Minnesotans. Dreamers enrich our communities and help create opportunity for all of us, and we want them here,” said Lt. Governor Smith. “Passing a clean Dream Act Bill should not be a partisan issue, yet Republicans in Congress continue to hold up the bill, while the futures of thousands of Minnesotans hang in the balance. We urge Congressman Emmer, Congressman Paulsen, and Congressman Lewis to join other members of Minnesota’s Federal delegation to quickly pass the Dream Act and protect Minnesota Dreamers from deportation from the only country many of them have ever known.”
Since DACA was introduced, nearly 800,000 young people have been screened and approved, including nearly 6,300 individuals in Minnesota. A survey of DACA recipients found that 95 percent of them were currently employed or enrolled in school, and 49 percent said they moved to a job that better fits their education and training. It is estimated that removing DACA eligible-workers from the state would cost Minnesota’s economy an estimated $387 million a year.
“There's no reason to delay passage of a clean Dream Act bill. Democrats in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate support the Dream Act, but Republicans still have not acted,” said State Senator Melisa Franzen, who represents Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, and Minnetonka. “Dreamers are losing their legal DACA status right now thanks to the arbitrary renewal date change — and the inaction of Congressman Erik Paulsen, Congressman Jason Lewis, and Congressman Tom Emmer. It is time for Republicans in Congress to act.”
There currently are 11,200 DACA-eligible residents in Minnesota. The following chart shows how many DACA-eligible residents reside in each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts:

Congressional District

Number of DACA Enrollees

Number of DACA

Eligible Residents

Annual Economic Impact of Deportation




$57.1 million




$72.5 million




$72.6 million




$36.2 million




$101.1 million




$15.5 million




$32.4 million


No Data

No Data

No Data




$387 million

Defending Dreamers in Minnesota
Under the leadership of Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith, Minnesota has worked to make higher education and health care more accessible for Minnesota Dreamers. In 2013, Governor Dayton signed the Minnesota Dream Act, to improve access to state higher education financial aid for Minnesotans, regardless of their federal immigration status. Last year, 485 Minnesota Dreamers received financial aid – just like other Minnesota students – in order to pursue the higher educations they need to succeed and contribute in today’s economy. Last year, the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced that all Minnesotans who meet the state’s eligibility requirements would be able to apply for healthcare through MinnesotaCare – a high-quality health care plan for working families and individuals.
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