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In shadow of horrors at border, Minneapolis immigrant rights activists demand urgent action on Municipal ID

By staff |
June 29, 2018
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Daniel Romero
Daniel Romero (Fight Back! News/staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On June 29, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) held a press conference along with coalition partners in the campaign for an immigrant rights Sanctuary Platform in Minneapolis. Before the city council meeting, they gathered outside of City Hall to demand immediate action to implement a Municipal ID for Minneapolis residents - one of 13 points in their Minneapolis Sanctuary Platform unveiled on Sept. 20, 2017.

After the press conference, organizers and activists went upstairs to the city council chambers. Though there wasn’t space for public comment on the agenda, the council suspended their rules to allow a representative of the group to speak. In the council chambers, Daniel Romero said, “Children being separated from their families does not only happen on the Texas and Arizona border. Every single day in Minneapolis, ICE arrests and separates parents from their children...I’m not sure if you knew this but at Fort Snelling this year, more than 700 orders for deportation have been issued. More than at any time since 2013. You can reduce those deportations. But you have to bring an ordinance here to be voted on and you have to pass it...Our communities are suffering. You know what is happening in our country today. And you have the ability, it’s in your power to change that in the city of Minneapolis, and we urge you to do that. Pass it now.”

The demand for a Municipal ID as part of the Minneapolis Sanctuary Platform stems from the urgent need of the immigrant community and others to have the right to access an identification that will enable them to live in Minneapolis with greater respect and dignity. Not having any form of identification is a barrier to gaining employment, housing, banking and other forms of participation in society. Municipal ID also provides a measure of important protection in interactions with law enforcement which is a gateway to the deportation system.

Several cities around the country have implemented municipal ID programs, and the Minneapolis city council is currently debating Municipal ID proposals.