MIRAC needs your support to continue the struggle against deportations and for full equality and legalization for all.

If you can, please make a donation to MIRAC. You can donate online easily via paypal by clicking here or clicking on the ‘donate’ button below.

Thank you!

Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee

4200 Cedar Ave South, Minneapolis 55407 | 612-888-MIRA | email | web | facebook

May 4, 2014

Dear Representative Thissen,

We are writing to express to you our view that you must bring HF348, the drivers license bill, to an immediate vote in the Ways & Means Committee and push for it’s passage on the House floor. The bill can and must pass this session!

The bill is universally seen as the highest priority in Minnesota right now for Latino immigrant workers and their families and communities. This is an urgent matter and cannot wait another year. The time to act is now.

Why is it urgent? As you may be aware, over 2 million people have been deported from the U.S. since President Obama took office in 2009. This is more than President Bush deported in his entire 8 years in office. Every family that includes Latino immigrants has been negatively affected by these deportations that separate families, separate children and parents. A large number of these deportation processes begin when people are stopped for driving without a license. These family separations are entirely unnecessary. If you pass HF348, many such deportations will be avoided. The issue of driving a car on Minnesota’s roads should have no relation to one’s immigration status.

As the legislative session is almost over, we urge to you take action immediately. You have no excuses. All the reasons you gave last year for not passing the bill such as lack of Republican support have now been resolved. Pass HF348 now!

The membership of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC)

MIRAC is an organization that has been organizing for the rights of immigrants in Minnesota since 2006. MIRAC stands for legalization for all, no more deportations, and full equality regardless of nationality.

(En español abajo)

Why do we march on May 1st? The origin of May Day

From MIRAC News/Noticias MIRAC #2, May 1, 2007

Every May Day, millions of workers around the world celebrate International Workers Day, the original Labor Day. Here in the U.S., Labor Day is officially celebrated in September, and has lost its political and labor character. It is seen by many as little more than an end-of-summer barbecue. But the real origins of May Day can be traced right here to the United States and the bitter struggles of working men and women for better wages, rights, conditions, and the eight-hour day.

On May 1st, 1886, tens of thousands of workers, many of them immigrants, held militant rallies across the country. The movement was particularly strong in Chicago, and two days later, police shot and killed four workers on a picket line. At a rally held the next day to commemorate the victims, a bomb thrown by an agent provocateur killed seven policemen. The police responded by killing several workers and injuring hundreds more. This has become known as the Haymarket Riot. In the following weeks, the police carried out systematic raids on strikers and trade unionists, breaking up meetings with violence. As a result, several workers leaders were framed, tried, imprisoned, and sentenced to death. In the years that followed, it became a tradition that every May Day, workers around the world would strike and demonstrate for the 8-hour day. Many countries eventually made it an official holiday so that workers wouldn’t go on strike that day.

[In 2006], millions of immigrant workers took to the streets of the U.S. and put the focus back on the working class origins of May Day. Immigrant workers are just like all other working people in the U.S. and around the world: they want decent jobs, safe housing, quality health care, a good education and a bright future for their children. They play an essential role in the economy, often doing some of the most back-breaking and lowest paid work, and they pay their taxes.

Yet they have few legal protections against abusive employers. The current attacks on immigrant workers are part of the attacks being faced by all working people. On this day of international workers’ solidarity, we invite everyone to get involved in the movement for immigrants’ rights by attending meetings, raising the issue in your trade union local, discussing with your co-workers, etc.

Let’s not forget that the eight-hour day, union recognition, and civil rights (just to name a few), were only won after mass united struggles by working people. Just as an injury to one is an injury to all, a victory for one is a victory for all! Together we can build a mass movement and win a better life for all of us, no matter where we were born.

De Noticias MIRAC/MIRAC News  #2, 1 de mayo 2007

¿Por qué marchamos el primero de mayo? Origen del Día Internacional de los Trabajadores

Cada primero de mayo, millones de trabajadores alrededor del mundo celebran el día  internacional de los trabajadores, el verdadero día del trabajo. Aquí en Estados Unidos, el día del trabajo se celebra oficialmente en septiembre, y el día ha perdido su enfoque político y laboral. Para mucha gente sólo es un día al fin del verano para hacer una barbacoa. Pero el verdadero día de los trabajadores empezó aquí en Estados Unidos con la dura lucha de mujeres y hombres trabajadores por mejores salarios, derechos, condiciones y un día laboral de 8 horas.

El primero de mayo de 1886, decenas de miles de trabajadores . muchos de ellos inmigrantes . organizaron protestas en todo el país. El movimiento fue particularmente fuerte en Chicago, y dos días después, la policía disparó y asesinó a cuatro trabajadores en una protesta. El próximo día, en una protesta para conmemorar a las víctimas, un agente infiltrado lanzó una bomba que mató a siete policías. Ante esto, la policía respondió matando a varios trabajadores y dejando a cientos más lesionados. Este día es conocido como .el motín de Haymarket.. En las siguiente semanas, la policía hizo varias redadas de forma sistemática en contra de los huelguistas y sindicalistas, interrumpiendo varias reuniones con violencia.

Como resultado, varios líderes sindicales fueron culpados ilegítimamente, juzgados,  encarcelados y sentenciados a la pena de muerte. En los años siguientes empezó la tradición de que en el primero de mayo, trabajadores alrededor del mundo hicieran huelgas y protestas  exigiendo que la jornada laboral sea de 8 horas al día. Muchos países eventualmente hicieron del primero de mayo un día feriado oficialmente para evitar así las huelgas en ese día.

[En 2006], millones de trabajadores inmigrantes tomaron las calles de los Estados Unidos para regresar el enfoque hacia el origen del primero de mayo con la clase trabajadora. Los  trabajadores inmigrantes son iguales que el resto de trabajadores de los Estados Unidos y en todo el mundo: ellos quieren trabajos decentes, hogares seguros, salud de alta calidad, una buena educación y un buen futuro para sus hijos. Los trabajadores inmigrantes tienen un papel esencial en la economía, frecuentemente haciendo el trabajo físicamente más duro y reciben los salarios más bajos. Pagan sus impuestos, pero tienen pocas protecciones legales en contra de empleadores abusivos.

Los ataques actuales en contra de trabajadores inmigrantes son parte de los ataques que  enfrentan toda la gente trabajadora. En este día de solidaridad internacional de los  trabajadores, invitamos a todos y todas a involucrarse en el movimiento para los derechos de los inmigrantes. Les invitamos a asistir a reuniones, a llevar el asunto de los derechos de trabajadores inmigrantes a su sindicato, a discutirlo con sus compañeros del trabajo, etc. No deberíamos olvidar que el día del trabajo de 8 horas, el reconocimiento legal de sindicatos, y los derechos civiles (para nombrar unas cosas) sólo se ganaron después de luchas grandes y unidas de gente trabajadora. Así como una herida a uno es una herida a todos, también una victoria para uno es una victoria para todos. Juntos podemos construir un movimiento masivo y podemos ganar una vida mejor para todos y todas, sin importar donde nacimos.

(English below)

Marcha el 1ro de mayo por los derechos de los inmigrantes y los trabajadores en el día internacional del trabajo

Invita y comparte con tod@s en facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1416570685264309/

El plan es una marcha desde la mansión del gobernador Dayton (3:00 pm en 1006 Summit Ave., Saint Paul) hacia el capitolio en San Pablo. Mapa: https://goo.gl/maps/4elYp ¡Licencias para tod@s! ¡Por los derechos laborales! ¡Reforma migratoria! ¡No mas deportaciones!

May 1st march for immigrant & workers rights on International Workers Day

RSVP, invite, and share broadly on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1416570685264309/The plan is to march from the Governors Mansion (3:00pm at 1006 Summit Ave, Saint Paul) to the State Capitol, Saint Paul. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4elYp Drivers licenses for all! Workers’ rights! Immigration reform! No more deportations!Marcha iniciada por Mesa Latina. Marcha endorsada por | march endorsed by: AFSCME Local 34, AFSCME Local 3800, Anti-War Committee, Centro Campesino, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), Dayton’s Bluff Community Council, Department of Chicano and Latino Studies (U of M), Interfaith Coalition on Immigration, Latino Communications Network (LCN), Latino Law Student Assocation (U of M), Mayday Bookstore, Minnesota Alliance for Citizenship, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Minnesota SOA Watch, MORENA – MN, Occupy Homes Minnesota, Oles for Immigration Reform (St. Olaf College), Presente (St. Olaf College), Students for a Democratic Society at UMN, UNITE HERE Local 17, Veterans for Peace – Minnesota Chapter 27, Waite House, Welfare Rights Committee, Witness for Peace – Upper Midwest, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM).


Join us on Valentines Day, Friday, February 14 at noon to say No More Deportations!

RSVP on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/626790054024500/

We’ll tell Sheriff Stanek to stop breaking up families and breaking hearts, and instead break the ties to ICE! Join us for a Valentine’s Day protest Feb 14th at 12:00 pm — we’ll meet outside the Hennepin County Jail (corner of 4th Ave & 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis). We’ll tell Sheriff Stanek to stop cooperating with ICE and separating families through deportation!  No more deportations!

Please consider donating to MIRAc to help us continue the fight for immigrant rights in 2014.

MIRAc has been fighting for immigrant families this year amidst frustrating actions (and inactions) of Washington legislators and the maddening reality of jails being used as deportation machines in Minnesota. Locally, through our No More Deportations campaign we have been organizing ongoing protests to pressure Sheriff Stanek to stop using the Hennepin County Jail as a deportation machine and have been fighting to stop our friend Eder’s deportation, educating the public of the real threat that lingers over our neighbors.

Politically, since Immigration Reform has not passed, we believe we must demand that President Obama step up and use his executive powers to stop families from being separated immediately and keep our families intact and children stable by extending Deferred Action to all undocumented immigrants, like he did for Dreamers last year. That would halt deportations while the movement keeps pushing for a real path to legalization for all without repressive border militarization or workplace repression. In addition to our No More Deportations campaign, we have other exciting projects like our work with other community groups to create a beautiful political mural on the building where we have our office at 4200 Cedar in Minneapolis. Let us know if you’d like to help on that. We have a lot more work to do this year on the No More Deportations campaign and in the fight for immigrant rights, and we need your help!

MIRAc is an all-volunteer group that raises our money entirely from the community. So please consider giving us a donation to help us continue our grassroots organizing at this vital time in the struggle for immigrant rights.

You can you can donate to MIRAc via paypal at bit.ly/miracdonate. Or you can mail a check (made out to “MIRAc”) and send to MIRAc, 4200 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55407. A donation of $20 will help make copies of educational materials for a ‘know your rights’ presentation. $40 will help us buy materials to make signs and banners for marches. And $190 will cover our rent for a month! Any size donation is a great help.

This year we see the possibility of real immigrant rights victories. But only a bold, independent grassroots movement can make the changes we urgently need to see and feel in our community. We hope you’ll donate to support our work, and stay informed of our activities through our email list-serve to get involved at this crucial juncture in the struggle for immigrant rights.

In solidarity,
The members of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee

The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) condemns the politically-motivated arrest and indictment of Rasmea Yousef Odeh, Associate Director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network (AAAN), on an immigration-related charge. The sixty-five year old was arrested at her home in late October by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, alleging an immigration violation on a 20-year-old application. Immigration law should not be used as a weapon of political repression!

Rasmea, who has made it her life’s work to serve and help empower Palestinian and Arab families, is the victim of a witch-hunt by our federal law enforcement agencies, which continue to violate the civil rights of Arabs and Muslims with impunity. Rasmea is a leading member of Chicago’s Arab and Muslim communities, and her decade of service has changed the lives of thousands of people, particularly disenfranchised Arab women and their families.

As the Associate Director of the AAAN, Rasmea is responsible for coordinating an Arab Women’s Committee, which is active in defending civil liberties and immigrant rights.  She is a mentor to hundreds of immigrant women, and is a well-known and respected organizer throughout Chicago, the U.S., and the world.

Earlier this year, Rasmea received the Outstanding Community Leader Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, which described her as a woman who has “dedicated over 40 years of her life to the empowerment of Arab women, first in her homes of Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon…and then the past 10 years in Chicago.” Rasmea is a community icon who recently completed a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Governors State University.  She was tortured by Israeli authorities while imprisoned in Palestine in the 1970s, and is a proud reminder of the millions of Palestinians who have not given up organizing for their rights of liberation, equality, and return.

It is appalling that our government is now attempting to imprison her once again. We condemn this attack on Rasmea, as well as the broader pattern of persecuting Arabs, Muslims and other immigrant communities.

We ask all of our supporters to sign the petition at http://www.iacenter.org/rasmeaodehpetition/ to demand that they Drop the Charges against Rasmea Odeh Now!


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