On Friday, July 13th, U.S. Senator Tina Smith attended a meeting with members and staff of COPAL to discuss, DACA and TPS, two issues impacting thousands of immigrant-Minnesotan families and to discuse ideas for working together to secure a better life for our Latinx families.
Tina Smith served as the 48th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota from 2015 to 2018 when she was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to serve as a U.S. Senator.
The meeting started by sharing life stories of people impacted by the decision of the current administration to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Children Arrival (DACA). Daysi, a TPS recipient, shares the impact on her family once her TPS expires in September of 2019. Daysi stated that she will be forced to return to her country of origin, leaving behind in the United States her young-adult children, taking with her the youngest ones. Sadly, she said, I am taking them without any resources an unfamiliar country. Daysi’s story is the story of thousands of Central Americans and Africans whose immigration statues was terminated by the Trump Administration. A second story was shared by Brenda Marquez, a DACA recipient. Brenda expressed her feelings of fear and uncertainty as her dreams to graduate from college and live a productive life in the United States seem unattainable if she loses her status.
Senator Tina Smith said that she has been fighting back anti-immigrant policies coming from the Trumps’ administration and conservative legislators in the U.S. Senate. She also expressed her commitment to working on solutions that keep families together. ” I just really believe that this is not what most Americans want” and “I have no words of great comfort, I want to stop this and I use my voice when I can,” said Senator Tina Smith.
Minnesota, like the rest of the Nation is having mid-term elections this coming November 6th to elect candidates for the House and Senate of the U.S congress. Currently, the Republican party occupy the House, the Senate and Executive branch- the President- of the government. The elections my drastically change the political map and create possibilities to introduce policies that protected the TPS and DACA community. To learn more about candidates, political platform and how you can participate visit our website MNlatinovote.org
Update: After our meeting, Senator Tina Smith shared this message on her social media: “Thank you to COPAL MN for inviting me to hear from our immigrant neighbors yesterday. You left me energized and ready to bring your stories with me to DC. Even in times like this, when we face great injustice, we will keep looking forward and find ways to make progress together. I hope you’ll keep raising your voices, engaging voters, and holding leaders accountable.”