The City of Minneapolis recently joined a cohort of cities and counties from around the Country to become a Welcoming City. A Welcoming City is one which is an inclusive community and believes that prosperity comes when everyone feels like they belong. It is the belief that all people, including immigrants, should be valued contributors and are vital to the success of both our communities and our shared future.
The City Council and Mayor recently approved a resolution affirming the City's commitment to being welcoming.
Free legal assistance available to renew DACA status
The Volunteer Lawyers Network is holding three upcoming sessions to provide free legal assistance to people who need to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
The Trump administration recently called for the end of the DACA program on March 5, 2018. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security established DACA under the Obama administration in 2012, which allows undocumented youth who came to the country as children to apply for temporary permission to stay in the U.S.
People with a DACA status that expires between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 must file a renewal with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by Oct. 5, 2017.
The Minneapolis-based Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) will offer free help for DACA renewals on Sept. 14, 21 and 28. The sessions will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 3400 Park Ave. S. To see if you qualify for VLN service and an appointment, call 612-752-6677 Monday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The City of Minneapolis has provided funding to VLN and other legal advocates to work directly with residents involved with immigration proceedings. The City was also the first in the country to declare support for DACA in 2012.
Frequently asked questions on DACA termination
National Immigrant Law Center: DACA overview
In February, the City Council directed City staff to establish a task force to bring forward a set of recommendations to strengthen city-level policies, programs and resources the City can offer to better protect and defend undocumented immigrant families, Muslim residents and other targeted groups from acts of bigotry and hate, and the rights of refugees from unjust persecution.
The Council also directed the City Coordinator’s Office to continue discussions with the Minneapolis Foundation and other funders, in partnership with the Mayor's Office, to create a local immigration legal defense fund, designed in partnership with immigration service providers. Staff has recommended providing funding to the Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Advocates for Human Rights. The City Attorney, in cooperation with the Mayor, was also directed to review the President’s January 2017 Executive Orders for the purpose of potential litigation and defense strategies to protect the rights of the City of Minneapolis and its residents.
City Council resolutions
Welcoming Cities resolution
Resolution condemning the January 2017 Presidential Executive Orders on lmmigration Enforcement and Refugees.
Resolution affirming the City of Minneapolis' commitment to protecting all citizens from attempts to create a national registry or surveillance based on ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation.
Resolution standing with all members of One Minneapolis.
Resolution condemning violence and hate speech, and expressing solidarity with Muslims and all those targeted for their ethnicity, race, or religion.
Mayor Hodges delivers special mayoral address: "This is Our Call as a Community and a People--We Get to Come Together Even More"
Mayor Hodges: Support for immigrant community keeps Minneapolis safer
Minneapolis Police Department
The Minneapolis Police Department adheres to the City's separation ordinance: "Public safety officials shall not undertake any law enforcement action for the purpose of detecting the presence of undocumented persons, or to verify immigration status, including but not limited to question any person or persons about their immigration status."
Video: MPD policies regarding immigration
Minneapolis Public Schools/Resources for Immigrant and Refugee Families: FAQs, community resources and more.
Volunteer Lawyers Network: The nonprofit provides civil legal services to low-income people through volunteer attorneys.
The Advocates for Human Rights: The nonprofit focuses on promoting human rights around the world.
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota: A nonprofit agency that provides immigration legal assistance to low-income immigrants and refugees in Minnesota.
Teaching Tolerance: A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
American Civil Liberties Union: The nearly 100-year-old organization focuses on defending and preserving individual rights and liberties.
ASISTA: ASISTA's goal is to provide national leadership, advocacy, training and technical assistance to those working with crime survivors seeking secure immigration status, especially those who have suffered gender-based violence.
National Immigrant Law Center: NILC is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.
Call 311 from inside Minneapolis or 612-673-3000
Through its 311 service, the City of Minneapolis has opened a new hotline for reporting hate crimes. The hotline number is 311 for anyone calling from within the city or 612-673-3000 statewide. The 311 hotline will be answered 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekends. Those with a report to make can also call the Department of Justice at 612-664-5600. As always, in the case of immediate physical violence, property damage or threats, people should call 911.
A hate crime is any crime against a person or property motivated by prejudice against someone's race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity. This includes prejudice-motivated property damage (including graffiti), stalking and assault.
Minneapolis is committed to human rights and racial equity for everyone who lives in, works in and visits our city. Several organizations in Minnesota--Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, City of Saint Paul Equal Opportunity Office and the Minnesota FBI--are working together to ensure all Minnesotans feel safe and welcome. Over the past several months, the partners have worked to increase community access to information and resources necessary to address issues of discrimination.
Discrimination is an action or a decision that treats a person or a group negatively for reasons such as their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity. If you, your family or someone you know experiences discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, LGBT status or other protected classes, or has been the victim of police misconduct, please call 612-673-3012 or visit www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights.
Poster: What to do if you have been a victim of a hate crime