Economic opportunity delayed for 30,000 Minnesotans

Last month, a federal court set another delay for President Barack Obama’s executive action that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, including 30,000 in Minnesota, temporary legal status.

The action recognizes the contributions these residents make to their local communities and economies, and keeps families together who already call the United States their home. His action also would provide an economic boost, as young people who grew up here can further their educations and careers, and workers can build their skills and earnings.

In November 2014, Obama introduced an executive action that included the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Residents (DAPA). These allow undocumented immigrants who came into the country as children, as well as parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permit residents, to request relief from deportation and work permits that would last for three years.

However, a lawsuit involving 26 states delayed implementation of this executive action nationwide, and the most recent decision, made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, upholds the lawsuit and so continues this delay.

The U.S. Department of Justice responded by bringing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court for review, where a final decision could be made by June.

Obama’s executive action is a common-sense way to provide a more stable status to immigrants living in our communities. The action would recognize the contributions immigrants already make, and realize the investment we have made in young people who have grown up here. Our communities and our economy would benefit.

-Clark Biegler

About Clark Biegler

Clark Biegler is the Minnesota Budget Project's policy analyst.
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