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(Declaración en Español aquí)

The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) [and the Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM) stand for legalization and full equality for all people regardless of immigration status. The need for full equality has never been clearer than in the face of a global pandemic that doesn’t care about borders, nationality or race. The government must either choose immediate universal public health and safety measures for all, or coronavirus for all.

With the goal of ensuring the health, safety and economic well being of everyone in Minnesota during this crisis we demand:

  • We call for an immediate halt to all immigration enforcement operations by ICE and related agencies.
  • That all levels of government move to provide immigrants the same level of services that is afforded to any other resident and immediately implement universal free access to all health and medical needs
  • That a universal moratorium be implemented on reprisals for inability to pay for housing and basic services and utilities. These should be truly universal – regardless of immigration status.

Putting more people into jails and prisons right now where the virus can spread like wildfire is a terrible idea. Even ICE officers and several DHS officers have now tested positive for Covid-19, which adds to the risk of spreading the virus in detention centers. Toward the goal of reducing the hazard of mass infections in jails, prisons, courts and refugee camps, we also call for:

  • Elimination of ICE check-ins and mandatory court appearances.
  • That all immigrant detainees in Minnesota be tested for Covid-19.
  • That all detainees who test positive receive free and proper medical treatment.
  • That all detainees who don’t test positive be released.
  • That the transfer of immigrants to different jails and camps be stopped.
  • That border camps be closed and all detainees held in them be released.
  • That the “Remain in Mexico” policies that have left 60,000 families stranded in crowded, unsanitary encampments on the Mexico side of the border be stopped.

The public health measures necessary to combat the virus are creating major disruptions to the economy and people’s jobs. Many immigrants are concentrated in the lowest sectors of the economy with few job protections and benefits, with little in the way of sick and vacation leave, and with very limited ability to participate in what still exists of the social safety net. For immigrant workers, we demand:

  • That all people who were employed in the U.S. before the COVID-19 crisis and are suffering loss of income through layoff or reduced hours, be included in any relief programs, aid or stimulus checks, regardless of immigration status.
  • That all workers who are able to work remotely be allowed to do so in order to slow the spread of the virus.
  • That any workers who must continue to report to work because their duties are essential must be given proper protective equipment and that their working conditions be made as safe as possible.
  • That anyone who does not report to work due to feeling sick or testing positive for COVID-19 should face no reprisals, no loss of job and no loss of vacation or sick leave for following the recommendations of the WHO, CDC or MDH to socially isolate to contain the spread of the virus.

In addition, we call on elected officials at all levels of government to speak out and take action against the racist and xenophobic targeting of Chinese people and all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The president himself has engaged in this racism. This is not a “Chinese virus”. Viruses don’t have a race or nationality and calling it that is racist scapegoating that has already provoked many cases of discrimination and even violent assaults against Asian Americans. Politicians and all people of conscience must boldly speak out and condemn such discrimination and attacks as well as condemning attempts to characterize COVID-19 in racial or national terms.

These are our currently-identified immediate pressing demands. We will raise new demands as the situation develops and new issues emerge.

(Statement in English here)

El Comité de Acción por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes de Minnesota (MIRAC) y la Coalición Interreligiosa sobre Inmigración (ICOM) apoyan la legalización e igualdad total para todas las personas, independientemente de su estatus migratorio. La necesidad de igualdad plena nunca ha sido más clara que frente a una pandemia mundial que no le importan las fronteras, la nacionalidad o la raza. El gobierno debe elegir medidas inmediatas de salud pública y seguridad públicas universales para todos, o va a ser el coronavirus para todos.

Con el objetivo de garantizar la salud, la seguridad y el bienestar económico de todos en Minnesota durante esta crisis, exigimos:

  • Pedimos que se paren de inmediato todas las operaciones de aplicación de la ley de inmigración por parte de ICE y agencias relacionadas.
  • Que todos los niveles del gobierno se muevan para proporcionar a los inmigrantes el mismo nivel de servicios que se presta a cualquier otro residente y que se implemente el acceso gratuito universal a todas las necesidades médicas y de salud inmediatamente.
  • Que se implemente una moratoria universal en las represalias por incapacidad para pagar la vivienda y los servicios básicos y servicios públicos. Estos deben ser verdaderamente universales – independientemente del estatus migratorio.

Poner a más personas en las cárceles y prisiones en este momento donde el virus puede dispersarse como un incendio forestal es una idea terrible. Incluso oficiales de ICE y varios oficiales de DHS han probado positivo para Covid-19, lo que suma el riesgo de dispersión del virus en los centros de detención. Hacia el objetivo de reducir el peligro de infecciones masivas en las cárceles, las prisiones, las cortes y los campos de refugiados, también pedimos:

  • Eliminación de visitas de ICE y las apariencias obligatorias en la corte.
  • Que todos los detenidos inmigrantes en Minnesota sean examinados para Covid-19.
  • Que todos los detenidos que dan positivo reciban tratamiento médico gratuito y adecuado.
  • Que todos los detenidos que no dan positivo sean liberados.
  • Que se detenga el traslado de inmigrantes a diferentes cárceles y campamentos.
  • Que se cierren los campamentos fronterizos y que todos los detenidos que se encuentren en ellos sean puestos en libertad.
  • Que se detengan las políticas de “Permanecer en México” que han dejado a 60,000 familias en campamentos sobre llenos e insalubres en el lado mexicano de la frontera.

Las medidas de salud pública necesarias para combatir el virus están creando perturbaciones mayores en la economía y en el trabajo de las personas. Muchos inmigrantes se concentran en los sectores más bajos de la economía con pocas protecciones y beneficios laborales, con pocas vacaciones de enfermedad y vacaciones generales, y con capacidad muy limitada para participar en lo que todavía existe de la red de seguridad social. Para los trabajadores inmigrantes, exigimos:

  • Que todas las personas que estaban empleadas en los EE.UU. antes de la crisis COVID-19 y están sufriendo pérdida de ingresos a través del despido o la reducción de horas, sean incluidas en cualquier programa de alivio, ayuda o cheques de estímulo, independientemente de su estatus migratorio.
  • Que se permita a todos los trabajadores que puedan trabajar de forma remota para reducir el disperse del virus.
  • Que cualquier trabajador que deba seguir reportándose a trabajar porque sus deberes son esenciales debe recibir el equipo de protección adecuado y que sus condiciones de trabajo sean las más seguras posibles.
  • Que cualquier persona que no se reporte al trabajo debido a sentirse enfermo o dar positivo para COVID-19 no debe sufrir represalias o pérdida de su trabajo, o pérdida de  su tiempo acumulado para vacaciones o enfermedades por seguir las recomendaciones de la WHO, CDC o MDH de aislarse socialmente para contener el disperse del virus

Además, hacemos un llamamiento a los funcionarios electos de todos los niveles de gobierno para que se pronuncien y tomen medidas contra los ataques racistas y xenófobos hacia la gente china, los Asiáticos-Americanos y los de las islas del Pacífico. El propio presidente del país ha hecho este racismo. Esto no es un “virus Chino”. Los virus no tienen ninguna raza o nacionalidad y llamarlo así es una excusa racista que ya ha provocado muchos casos de discriminación e incluso ataques violentos contra Asiático-Americanos. Los políticos y todas las personas de conciencia deben expresar y condenar con valentía estos ataques y discriminación, así como condenar los intentos de caracterizar a COVID-19 en términos raciales o nacionales.

Estas son nuestras demandas urgentes inmediatas actualmente-identificadas. Levantaremos nuevas demandas a medida que se desarrolle la situación y surjan nuevas cuestiones.

On February 25, 2020 Minnesotans will participate in precinct caucuses.

Aside from picking a political party’s candidates for upcoming local elections, at caucuses you can bring resolutions about political topics that will be discussed and voted on. This is one way you can raise awareness about important issues with your neighbors, and make a political statement together.

This year MIRAC encourages people who attend a precinct caucus (for whatever political party) to bring copies of our resolution: Make Minnesota a Sanctuary State.

MIRAC doesn’t endorse political parties or candidates. But we think bringing a resolution to your party of preference to Make Minnesota a Sanctuary State can be a good way to raise awareness and support for defending our immigrant neighbors.

Click here to view and print copies of our resolution (PDF).

Instructions for bringing the resolution to your precinct caucus

  1. Caucuses are February 25 at 7:00 p.m. Find out where your precinct caucus is here.
  2. Before you go, make up to 50 copies of the resolution.
  3. Show up a few minutes early and let the person in charge know that you have a resolution you would like on the agenda. Give them a copy of the resolution.
  4. When your resolution comes up on the agenda, hand out copies of the agenda to everyone and be prepared to say a few words about why you think it’s important for people to support it.
  5. If any of your neighbors express interest in learning more about or getting involved in the Sanctuary State campaign, get their name and contact info to follow up and invite them to get involved!
  6. Contact us at MIRACMN@gmail.com or on our facebook page after your caucus is over to let us know your precinct number, if the resolution passed there, and how it went. Was there interesting discussion? Did anyone propose amendments, and if so what were they? Did you meet people who are interested in getting involved in the campaign? We want to publicize all the precincts that passed the resolution to show that there is broad support for making Minnesota a sanctuary state.

10/10 Dump Trump protest! RSVP and get updates on the Facebook event!

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20190719 Elbit divest flyer v2

  • Currently Minnesota’s State Board of Investments (SBI) holds 10,951 shares in Elbit Systems worth $1,256.650.00
  • Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer. They are currently under contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to build a 53-tower “Integrated Fixed Towers” security project.  Most have already been built.
  • Elbit is the 27th largest arms-producing company in the world. Weapon sales are 95% of its business.
  • Elbit’s weaponized drones have been involved in all of Israel’s major offenses on Gaza.
  • Continuing to invest in Elbit Systems results in a system that prioritizes militarization of the US-Mexico border and the resulting death of migrants trying to cross the border.
  • Continuing to invest in Elbit Systems results in a system that prioritizes militarization of the US-Mexico border and the resulting death of migrants trying to cross the border.
  • Border militarization includes armed border patrol agents, drones, surveillance towers, thousands of miles of fences and walls with fewer and fewer authorized checkpoints.
  • Border militarization causes hardship and death to families who are fleeing violence and famine in their home countries.
  • The costs of border militarization have skyrocketed in recent years. Companies around the world which form the massive military-industrial complex profit. Elbit is one such company. A fictional crisis created by racist fear mongering is being used to give taxpayer money to corporate interests. Over the past 15 years they’ve spent over $4 million dollars on lobbying.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Sign the petition demanding the MN State Board of Investments DIVEST from Elbit Systems.

Contact the members of the MN State Board of Investments to request that they support divestment decision at their August 22nd meeting:

Governor Tim Walz, Chair—651-201-3400
State Auditor Julie Blaha—(651) 296-2551
Attorney General Keith Ellison—(651) 296-3353
Secretary of State Steve Simon—secretary.state@state.mn.us

Attend the Thursday, August 22nd meeting of the Board, at 10:00 a.m. in G23 Senate
Committee Room, State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.St. Paul, MN 55155

Circulate the petition in your neighborhood, church or other community group and send back to MIRAC, 4200 Cedar Ave., Mpls.

Download PDF of flyer here

 

CALL, TWEET, LIKE AND SHARE!
Rep. Ilhan Omar has written a letter to demand an end to the expansion of ICE detention facilities in Minnesota. READ LETTER BELOW.
CONTACT your representative before July 12th and demand they sign on to Ilhan’s letter!
ICE detention centers are cesspools of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, religious and cultural discrimination and even death!
NOT one more tax dollar can go to this system of oppression!
CALL and TWEET and say something like: “Hi, my name is ______ and I live in your district. I oppose expanding ICE detention facilities in Minnesota. I am asking you to sign on to Representative Ilhan Omar’s letter to ICE Acting Director Mark Morgan opposing the expansion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities in Minnesota. Will you do that?”

Minnesota Congressional Delegation

Both senators represent all Minnesotans so please contact both of them:
Senator Tina Smith
(202) 224-5641 | Twitter @SenTinaSmith | Web contact form
Senator Amy Klobuchar

(202) 224-3244 | Twitter @AmyKlobuchar | Web contact form

U.S. House of Representatives

If you don’t know which representative is yours, enter your address here and it will tell you.
Rep. Jim Hagedorn (First District)
(202) 225-2472 | Twitter @rephagedorn | Web contact form
Rep. Angie Craig (Second District)
(202) 225-2271 | Twitter @RepAngieCraig | Web contact form
Rep. Dean Phillips (Third District)
(202) 225-2871 | Twitter @RepDeanPhillips | Web contact form
Rep. Betty McCollum (Fourth District)
(202) 225-6631 | Twitter @BettyMcCollom04 | Web contact form
Rep. Ilhan Omar (Fifth District)
(thank her for taking initiative in opposing ICE expansion!)
(202) 225-4755 | Twitter @IlhanMN | Web contact form
Rep. Tom Emmer (Sixth District)
(202) 225-2331 | Twitter @RepTomEmmer | Web contact form
Rep. Collin C. Peterson (Seventh District)
(202) 225-2165 | Twitter @collinpeterson | Web contact form
Rep. Pete Stauber (Eighth District)
(202) 225-6211 | Twitter @RepPeteStauber | Web contact form

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Letter to ICE’s Acting Director Mark Morgan

The Honorable Mark Morgan
Acting Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
500 12th Street Southwest, Mail Stop 5003
Washington, DC 20536-5003

Dear Acting Director Morgan:

We write to oppose the expansion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities in Minnesota. We do not believe that Minnesota needs more detention beds, rather policies should be shifted to focus on more humane community-based options. We strongly urge you to abandon the effort to increase detention in our state.

The Sherburne County Jail has contracted with the U.S. government to house immigration detainees and other federal inmates for several years. Earlier this month, Minnesota Public Radio reported[1] that the jail has proposed nearly doubling its capacity for detention from 300 beds to 500 beds. Sherburne County’s proposal is especially concerning due to the number of complaints our offices have received about treatment while in detention at Sherburne County. Our constituents have reported poor medical care, lack of access to medicine, and limited opportunities for mental engagement. Additionally, we have received reports that Sherburne County has taken discriminatory action against some of the detained by selectively denying religious and cultural programming.

The Prairie Correctional Facility, a private prison in Appleton, Minnesota, run by CoreCivic, Inc. has also reportedly proposed using their facility for ICE detention. Since 2010, the State of Minnesota has declined to use this facility in preference for publicly-owned and operated facilities, and we urge ICE to follow our state’s lead. CoreCivic has been the subject of multiple investigations, and media have reported egregious misconduct in their facilities, including sexual assault[2], negligence, poor medical care, and even death[3]. Such companies have no business running a detention facility.

Instead of expanding expensive, inhumane detention, we urge you to adopt community-based alternatives to detention. Many of these practices have been employed by ICE with great success, consistently showing they are effective while costing exponentially less – a fact that’s been confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security.[4]But even those numbers speak only to the cost to taxpayers– they don’t include the immeasurable costs being paid every day by the detained, their families and their communities. The policy of extended detention for all individuals, regardless of flight risk or history of violent behavior, tears families apart without providing any benefit to our communities.

Lastly, funding for additional beds raises issues in ongoing Congressional appropriations debates. Rather than investing resources to expand capacity while those very resources are in limbo, we urge you to act responsibly with taxpayer dollars and invest in proven programs that respect both individual rights and government resources.

We stand with our constituents, who overwhelmingly oppose the Administration’s efforts to expand detention. We urge you to reverse course on your expansion in Minnesota.

Sincerely,

 


[1] https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/06/04/sherburne-county-proposes-expanding-jail-for-more-ice-detainees

[2] https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2017-12-01/allegations-mount-at-t-don-hutto/

[3] https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/06/20/code-red/fatal-consequences-dangerously-substandard-medical-care-immigration

[4] https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/images/zdocs/The-Real-Alternatives-to-Detention-FINAL-06-27-17.pdf

 

municipal id for all

CALL TO ACTION FOR MUNICIPAL ID

Your help is needed. Please call your Minneapolis City Council member today! As the Minneapolis City Council debates and moves forward with Municipal ID (an important part of the Sanctuary Platform), your voice needs to be heard. It is urgent that you call your council member this week (April 23 – 27).

You can use the script below if you wish.

Ward | Council Member | Phone
1 Kevin Reich (612) 673-2201
2 Cam Gordon (612) 673-2202
3 Steve Fletcher (612) 673-2203
4 Phillipe Cunningham (612) 673-2204
5 Jeremiah Ellison (612) 673-2205
6 Abdi Warsame (612) 673-2206
7 Lisa Goodman (612) 673-2207
8 Andrea Jenkins (612) 673-2208
9 Alondra Cano (612) 673-2209
10 Lisa Bender (612) 673-2210
11 Jeremy Scroeder (612) 673-2211
12 Andrew Johnson (612) 673-2212
13 Linea Palmisano (612) 673-2213

To find which ward you live in, go to this web address: http://apps.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/AddressPortalApp/Search?AppID=WardFinderApp

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

Dear Council Member ______________,

I’m a constituent and the issue of Municipal ID is very important to me. Access to a Municipal ID allows immigrant, homeless, and other marginalized populations more equitable participation in society.

I support a Municipal ID program that guarantees the following:

  • CONTROL: A public ID that is of the city and directed by the city–not privatized, which would cause privacy concerns.
  • PRIORITY: A Municipal ID is urgent and we want a passing vote before June 2018.
  • ACCESS: The city needs to come to our communities and speak our languages.
  • SECURITY: The city must be responsible for destroying all data after 6 months.
  • RECIPROCITY: We want agreements with other cities to recognize our Municipal ID. However, we should not wait for reciprocity to pass Municipal ID.
  • CONFIDENCE: The Municipal ID must be a plastic card with a loadable magnetic strip, not a technological device
  • FUNDING: Municipal ID program must be funded at a minimum rate of $100,000 per year

    “Will you vote to support the creation and implementation of a Minneapolis Municipal ID program – yes or no?”

    Note: We need to keep track of yes’es and no’s. If the councilperson says anything like “it depends.” then the follow up question should be, “What specifically does your vote depend on?” We then need to capture those responses verbatim as much as possible so we can follow up on getting their concerns quickly answered.

    With your strong support and attention to the above aspects of Municipal ID, Minneapolis can be a leader in supporting our immigrant communities. Thank you!