Mpls becomes first city to declare support for Obama's DREAM Act policy
Uriel Rosales, undocumented student at the University of Minnesota
The Minneapolis City Council unanimously declared its support for President Barack Obama's recently announced policy suspending deportation for undocumented young folks.
The Obama Administration announced the new policy June 15, which allows illegal immigrants who were brought here as children by their parents to remain in the country and receive work permits if they meet certain requirements (no criminal record, high school education).
Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden said the council's vote was meant to encourage the Department of Homeland Security to take "prompt action" implementing this policy and to encourage immigration authorities to take the "broadest possible interpretation" of Obama's move to help as many undocumented immigrants as possible.
Council President Barb Johnson said she was "really pleased" and "delighted" to endorse the policy, praising the growth of diversity in Minneapolis over the years.
Minneapolis' city council supports Obama's policies
"It's changed so much for the better," Johnson said.
Uriel Rosales, a 22-year old Mexican DREAM Act student affected by the administration's policy, spoke with us at City Hall this afternoon.
Rosales is a student at the University of Minnesota, studying sociology and Chicano studies. His father was deported three years ago, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement came after him while working at a temp agency.
He lives in town with his mother and a brother, and came here when he was ten years old. His family is originally from a small town in Morelos, Mexico.
Rosales said life in his situation is difficult because it presents a constant contradiction.
"You come here, you grow up, the school teachers you that if you grow up and get good grades, everything works out," Rosales said. But then when you turn 18, "all of a sudden you're different from your peers."
Rosales said he has cousins who graduated high school with good grades but couldn't afford to get into college. He attends the University of Minnesota with a scholarship.
"It's great to have the support of the city," Rosales said.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.