ST. PAUL, Minn. – DFL State Rep. and Minneapolis mayoral candidate Raymond Dehn has gone without food since Tuesday in protest of restrictions on illegal immigrants ability to get a driver’s’ license.
In a Facebook post on his personal page Friday evening, Dehn announced he had refused food and water for the prior 75 hours. Under advice regarding his health, Dehn has started taking water again in order to preserve going without food. Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis) is also a party to the hunger strike.
The third and nineteenth term legislators respectively, are starving themselves in an effort to convince Gov. Mark Dayton to veto HF 470, the Public Safety Omnibus Bill. Specifically they object to language which will codify that the state government will not be allowed to issue illegal immigrants driver’s licenses.
“The Republicans couldn’t help themselves and they wanted to put in statute something that already exists in rulemaking to send a signal to immigrants that they’re not welcome here,” Dehn said in an interview with Kare 11’s John Croman, “And the legislation we’re passing, there are a lot of people that are going to do without because of our actions here so I thought it would be appropriate for me to do without for a while.”
HF 470 passed the House by a vote of 98-36, and the Senate 46-21 on Tuesday. It was presented to Dayton Friday.
Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) posted a picture on Facebook Tuesday of Dehn participating in a sit-in inside Dayton’s office.
At a recent mayoral forum, candidates were asked by Our Revolution Twin Cities, a spin-off of the failed Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, if they would promise not to veto any city council resolution that the advocacy group supported, reports the Star Tribune. The other candidates refused saying they could not promise blanket support for any group’s initiatives. Dehn was the only candidate to answer yes.