I want to thank the 500 plus community members who joined me, NAVIGATE, immigration attorney Susana De Leon, and our City of Minneapolis staff members to identify the ways in which our City can strengthen the protections we can offer our immigrant and refugee families who have made Minneapolis strong. A big thank you to Norma Garces who is the director of El Colegio Charter School for helping us host this vital conversation.
The purpose of this meeting was two fold. First, it was a time to unite our immigrant, Muslim, and refugee brothers and sisters to organize together for change. Second, it was to gather ideas and input from our broad and diverse community to answer one question - what would a true Sanctuary City look like?
This question stems from acknowledging that the term "sanctuary" because our current Ciy laws do not prevent deportations from taking place in our city. What the City of Minneapolis does have is an ordinance that bars Minneapolis Police officers from asking community memebers about thier immigration status.
So what does a city that is a true sanctuary for immigrants look like?
During our meeting we covered other topics too, such as how we can deploy our City resources and create an emergency fund to protect our residents and to resist the unfunded work of a broken immigration system. We explored establishing a network of municipal buildings that can serve to provide refuge against attempted deportations. We will continue these discussions and turn them into concrete proposals at our next meeting on Sunday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m. at El Colegio Charter School. Please join us.
However, I want to be clear about what's happening today. Through his executive orders President Trump is building a legal blueprint for massive raids and deportations. In that light, we have to create a blueprint for massive civil disobedience to push back against inhumane laws that will tear our families, neighborhoods, and economies apart. Without our immigrant and refugee community, our city will fall to the ground.
If these laws continue to persecute our immigrant families and neighbors, I won't follow them. If the guards come to try to take our people away, I won't let them. Just like Martin Luther King Jr., we too will be tested to step up to defend the civil and human rights of our vibrant and tightly-knit community.