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Unlikely organization holding dreamer campaign

Heitkamp tries to help find a long term solution regarding DACA, local efforts are urging senators to support it.

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Ty Filley
FARGO, ND — Heitkamp tries to help find a long term solution regarding DACA, local efforts are urging senators to support it.

The act allows illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age to stay in the country.

Planned Parenthood of Fargo is spearheading a phone campaign asking state representatives to support an action deferment act meaning the children of illegal immigrants could stay with certain requirements.

Though it's tough to say exactly how many illegal immigrants would be affected by a new act, experts say it could touch more people than you think.

The staff of Planned Parenthood is taking a stand on an unusual issue; immigration.

"A lot of our patients and donors and staff are dreamers," said Amy Jacobson, Planned Parenthood ND Director.

The organization believes illegal immigrants who grew up in the states, called dreamers are integral to North Dakota.

"They've been here, growing up in our school systems and even working," said Jacobson.

DACA is an act which keeps dreamers from being deported and is set to expire in March.

Which is why the staff is asking for fellow supporters to join a "dine and dash" style rally over the lunch hour on Wednesday.

"Make calls to our federal delegates to ask them to support clean dream act," said Jacobson.

The act isn't a free ticket to the United States, Dr. Dina Zavala-Petherbridge, the director of Cultural Diversity at Mayville State, says DACA requires a lot of "dreamers."

"Any applicant needs to be under the age of 31 by June 15th, 2012. They can not have a felony. They also have to be a student or demonstrate they're in college or are in high school," said Dr. Zavala-Petherbridge.

Supporters say without the protection, it would mean sending thousands back to countries they've never been to.

"All of the sudden they have to go back to a country where maybe all they know are stories from their parents," said Dr. Zavala-Petherbridge.

Some opponents argue the protections are an overreach of the government's authority, but supporters insist it's right to remain.

Some estimate between Minnesota and North Dakota there are as many as 6,400 dreamers.

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