MIRAC provides Minneapolis Sanctuary Platform

Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) provides Minneapolis candidates and elected officials Minneapolis Sanctuary Platform.
Al Flowers supports this platform and pledges to implement it when elected as Minneapolis Mayor.

Sanctuary Now!
Resist Attacks on Immigrants
Pass the Minneapolis Sanctuary Platform

We present this immigrant rights platform to the current Minneapolis city council and mayor, and ask them to enact the items on this platform before their term ends at the end of 2017. We ask all current candidates for city council and mayor to pledge to enact the items on this platform if they are elected.
Minneapolis has been called a sanctuary city for immigrants. City leaders have proudly upheld this idea. This mainly refers to the separation ordinance prohibiting city workers and police from asking people about their immigration status. But this has not been enough to create sanctuary for immigrants. Harassment of immigrants and deportations continue in Minneapolis. The several law enforcement agencies that operate in Minneapolis besides MPD are not beholden to the separation ordinance and many continue cooperating with ICE to funnel people into deportation (Metro Transit police, county sheriffs, state troopers, federal officers from many DHS agencies, etc.) We believe that the adoption of this platform would help move Minneapolis in the direction of a sanctuary city and resist the Trump administration’s attacks on our immigrant neighbors.

  1. Fund legal representation for immigrants who are Minneapolis residents who are detained by ICE. Many cities and counties are now doing this (for example: New York City, San Francisco, Alameda & Santa Clara Counties, Santa Ana, etc.). This is necessary because there is no right to legal representation in immigration court, so many people go before an immigration judge without knowing their rights or the options they might have to fight their deportation and attain legal status.
  2. Create a Minneapolis Municipal ID available to all city residents regardless of immigration status. This will not only benefit people with many immigration statuses, homeless people, transgender people, and others, but could also offer incentives that benefit all city residents such as library, metro and debit card use integrated into the card. This must be done with privacy and awareness of what data the city will keep on hand that could possibly be requested by ICE. Many U.S. cities have Municipal ID cards including Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York City, New Haven, San Francisco, Oakland, and others.
  3. Use the city’s influence to press the Hennepin County sheriff and commissioners to stop cooperating with ICE in ways that result in deportations. If county officials won’t end their close cooperation with ICE, Minneapolis should explore any options available to reduce instances of MPD sending people to be booked into the Hennepin County jail, which continues to share info with ICE that results in deportations.
  4. Shield Immigrants from ICE by implementing policies that reduce their exposure to ICE agents. This can take the form of reducing jail sentences so that immigrants convicted of petty crimes don’t get flagged for deportation; letting people plead to traffic offenses online so that they can avoid the courthouse altogether; and allowing immigrants without legal status to wait in a private shelter until it’s time for them to appear in court. That way, they can minimize spending more time in courthouse hallways in view of federal agents. These three measures were recently implemented in Denver.
  5. Hold legal clinics around the city to aid people to apply for residency or citizenship. Applying to alter immigration status is a complicated and expensive process. Many people aren’t aware that they may have options for stabilizing their immigration status or don’t know how to navigate the system. The city should actively help people get through the process.
  6. Guarantee certification of all U Visas by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and adoption of an expedited process (7-day maximum) for people in deportation proceedings. Many undocumented immigrants are targets of violence and hate. The “U Visa” can be obtained by the victim of a crime if they cooperate in solving it, and is one of the very few ways that many undocumented immigrants can legalize their immigration status. But it is dependent on the police department signing off on it. The MPD should adopt a policy of certifying all U Visa applications by default. They should also adopt an expedited process for people that are in detention or in deportation proceedings, with a 7-day maximum. This would be an important contribution to encourage vulnerable people to document their harassment and targeting as well as prevent some deportations in Minneapolis.
  7. Do a comprehensive review of Minneapolis’s data practices and take all possible measures to prevent ICE from accessing any data they could use to target immigrants. Make sure data stored by Minneapolis is not accessible to ICE data mining programs such as Integrated Case Management (ICM), The Enforcement Integrated Database (EID), FALCON-SA, LeadTrac, and ICE Pattern Analysis and Information Collection System (ICEPIC). See details on these ICE data mining programs here.
  8. Increase city resources to support vigorous enforcement of employment and labor laws focused on sectors of the economy with high violations which coincide in great part with industries that have a large number of immigrant workers: low-wage, day labor, and informal sector. Too often immigrant workers’ rights are violated by bosses that threaten retaliation including calling ICE if workers advocate for themselves on the job. Minneapolis should do more to support immigrant workers to know and defend their labor rights, and should hold bosses accountable that threaten to retaliate or call ICE on their workers. This includes robust funding for community organizations to do outreach and education to immigrant communities around their rights and how to enforce them.
  9. Strengthen tenants rights and protections in Minneapolis; increase penalties on landlords who exclude, exploit or manipulate their tenants based on their immigration status. The majority of immigrants who live in Minneapolis are renters. Too frequently they are targets of unscrupulous and exploitative landlords. Landlords should not be allowed to discriminate against people applying to be tenants with illegal requirements like requiring a Social Security number or other documents that are not available to immigrants, or charging higher rent or fees for people who can’t show a Social Security number. The city of Minneapolis should: * Strengthen protections for landlords that don’t ask about immigration status or documentation, and encourage owners to use detection methods other than social security, state IDs, credit history or other documents that aren’t available for immigrants; * Use alternatives to corroborate personal income like ITIN number, forms of ID like passport or Consular ID (“matricula consular”) issued in the U.S. The before-named documents are official and valid in the United States. Landlords that have proven cases of discrimination or who have threatened tenants based on their immigration status or who threaten to report their tenants to immigration (ICE) should have stronger punishments implemented such as: * Greatly increase fines for landlords for threatening or calling immigration on tenants; * Not being allowed to be landlords in Minneapolis.
  10. Allow non-citizens the right to vote in municipal elections that the city has control over. It is unjust and undemocratic that important decisions are made about our city that directly affect immigrant residents & families without their input. Minneapolis should allow non-citizens who reside in Minneapolis to vote in municipal elections that they have control over. For example, in September 2017, College Park, MD approved voting for non-citizens in municipal elections, and San Francisco, CA approved non-citizen voting for school board elections in 2016. (See SF ballot measure specifics here).
  11. Reveal any ongoing city participation with the so-called “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) program and all affiliates, including the “Strong Cities Network”; release a statement condemning CVE and any similar program that singles out or targets immigrant communities. The CVE program, started under the Obama administration, is now a tool used by the Trump administration to criminalize Muslim youth on a mass scale. The city of Minneapolis, which began participating in the program in 2015, needs to reveal if there are currently any ongoing projects or contracts with CVE, including the details regarding the city’s participation in the “Strong Cities Network.” City officials should also release a statement opposing CVE’s implementation within Minneapolis by any entity, including the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
  12. Enact a city ordinance that strictly prohibits any ICE detention facility or ICE training center from opening or operating within the Minneapolis city limits and that prohibits any municipal entity from entering into any contract with DHS or ICE.
  13. Establish a new municipal Office for Immigrant & Refugee Relationships. This new city office would be responsible for working with immigrants, refugees and their allies to promote safety and well-being, helping immigrants & refugees start businesses, develop cultural awareness programs and other services. It might also oversee compliance with some of the proposals in this document. One model for this is the Chicago’s Office for New Americans.