President Trump’s tweet puts sanctuary city spotlight back on the Twin Cities

In a tweet shared this April, President Trump said he is “giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only.” The tweet came mere hours after both the Department of Homeland Security and a White House official insisted that that idea had been rejected. When asked about the verity of their statement, the president equivocated. His only political conviction, of course, is to continue casting people seeking refuge at our border as burdens to bear. And yet, amid the sound and fury of all the politicking, cities that call themselves sanctuaries stand to be impacted the most. But what exactly it means to be a “sanctuary city” remains unclear. Continue Reading

Municipal IDs could shape the future of immigrant rights in Minneapolis

A new form of identification –  municipal identification – will soon be implemented in Minneapolis. It is possibly a life-changing move for thousands in the metro area. Municipal identification is not a nascent thing, but rather a local, albeit legal identification that’s taken hold in large and small cities across the country, from Los Angeles to New York City and even to Northfield, Minnesota. On just a single page on the city of Minneapolis’ website, municipal IDs have certainly become part of the political lexicon, after nearly a decade of grassroots advocacy. The page begins with the declaration that, in order to show we are “One Minneapolis,” municipal IDs will “further advance the City’s racial equity goals.” The IDs, the page explains, “will connect Minneapolis residents to services, programs and benefits, regardless of immigration status, homelessness or gender identity.”

That the use of IDs now stand to be codified into law comes on the heels of years of hard work by a broad coalition of immigrant activist groups and community organizations collaborating with the city’s Neighborhood and Community Relations. Continue Reading

Backers push for vote on driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants

More than three hundred Latino residents rallied in front of the St. Paul Capitol building to urge Governor Dayton and House Speaker Paul Thissen to pass HF348, a bill  that would allow drivers licenses for all.  Organized by Mesa Latina and supported broadly by the immigrant rights movement  protesters raised signs and chanted “Si se puede!” “Yes we can!” Many drivers and passerby joined in solidarity, supportively honking or walking along. The demonstration concluded at the Cedar Street Armory in a cultural celebration with musical performances by local artists.  
Currently, more than 34,500 Minnesotans with temporary visas or deportation reprieves under a 2012 Obama program have driver’s licenses that say “Check status” and list their visa expiration date. Continue Reading

Everyone deserves an ID card regardless of status

Everyone, regardless of status, has the right to obtain an unmarked identification card. And if an individual meets the requirements (passing the driver’s test) an individual should be able to obtain a driver’s license as well.  Currently, there are a few organizations that are fighting for the rights of undocumented individuals to obtain an identification card or driver’s license. Each year, this request has been rejected from the state and legislators. Currently, the bill has passed the Senate, but at this time, it’s in the hands of the House of Representatives.  Now, there is a division between organizations because of the problematic issue of whether identification cards and driver’s licenses for undocumented individuals should be marked or if these cards should look similar to a normal card that a United States citizen obtains. Some organizations believe if the cards are marked, it will cause more discrimination problems against undocumented individuals.  Others believe that having the identification cards are fine, as long as individuals are able to obtain one. Continue Reading