Our dream, our day: Immigrant students at the Capitol


On April 21, immigrant students and allies converged on the Capitol for the annual student day at the Capitol sponsored by the Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network (MIFN). Here, in their words and photos, is their story of the day.

David, a 16 year-old Latino student leader from Minneapolis, who has been active in Student Day at the Capitol since the 8th grade: “We are the new face of democracy. As our community grows so must our opportunities to go to college.”

Itzamari, a high school student from Monticello who helped to organize the day: “Our dreams to go to college are the same thing as building Minnesota’s future. For every $1 we invest in education today, we get $10 back in the future because we will all be professional workers who can pay more taxes.”

Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, MIFN’s Youth Organizer: “The flat-rate tuition bill provides more opportunity because it allows any high school graduate from around the world to enroll at in-state tuition rates in 22 out of the 32 MnSCU schools, whereas the Minnesota Dream Act would only grant in-state tuition to Minnesota high school graduates.”

Mariano Espinoza, Executive Director of the Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, plans the content of the morning training with youth participants. Photo by: Suzie Lee/MIFN

Young activists and student leaders from Academia Cesar Chavez in St. Paul lead the 1,000 student march from the Church to the Capitol. Photo by: Denise Perez/MIFN

Elementary aged student speaks to the media about the importance of college access for Latino students. Photo by: Claudia Saenz/MIFN

Over 25 different groups and schools marched chanting “My Dream is Minnesota’s Future” to send a message to decision-makers that investing in education is a number one priority. Photo by: Rachel Huss/MIFN

Students meet with Senator Patricia Torres Ray to discuss access to higher education for all. Photo by: Claudia Saenz/MIFN

Students met with over 100 legislators during their 5th Annual Student Day at the Capitol. Photo by: Claudia Saenz/MIFN

The day at the Capitol includes a college fair where students can meet with admissions representatives to learn more about the college going process. Photo by: Claudia Saenz/MIFN

Photos and quotes furnished by Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network.

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