Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Seeks Citizenship for Dreamers

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Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is seeking citizenship for Dreamers and other immigrants. In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Walz said Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders have been “carrying us through the pandemic” and that “the nation owes them a debt of gratitude.”

In a tweet, Walz said “Immigrants strengthen our communities. It’s time for Congress to work together on a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.”

In his letter, Walz asked Pelosi and Schumer to “prioritize a clean pathway to citizenship for essential workers, Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and their families” in their “budget reconciliation bill.”

In the budget bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill allotted “over $100 billion to support legalization programs for Dreamers, recipients of Temporary Protected Status, essential workers, and other eligible immigrants, as well as other reforms to the immigration system.”

He called on Schumer and Pelosi to allow for citizenship for those who are already here “and their families.” Walz said Dreamers and TPS holders “live, work, study, worship, and are part of our communities.”

Walz called it a “moral imperative” to see Republicans and Democrats working together in Congress to pass legislation that will provide “permanent protection” for individuals who are not American citizens. He said it was “the right thing to do” not just for the immigrants that will benefit from such a program, but the right thing to do for “the country.”

The letter was also signed by Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Flanagan said in a tweet that “Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers & essential workers have continuously put their health & that of their families on the line to keep our nation moving forward. We stand by our immigrant communities & are calling on Congress to provide a clear pathway to citizenship.”

Walz and Flanagan were not clear whether their request would include undocumented immigrants. According to the American Immigration Council, undocumented immigrants make up around 20% of Minnesota’s immigrant population and that “More than 64,000 U.S. citizens in Minnesota live with at least one family member who is undocumented.”

Half of Minnesota’s immigrant population has already been naturalized as of 2018. Immigrants make up around 10% of Minnesota’s total population.

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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