News and Information

[Immigration Response Team] Updates from the Immigration Response Team

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dear friends and colleagues,

With the resignation of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and other leadership changes on the federal level, immigration continues to dominate the headlines. One question that often arises at the Tax Deadline is whether undocumented immigrants pay taxes. CNN recently published an article explaining how and why undocumented immigrants pay taxes—even though, as pointed out by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, they are “helping fund the very system that detain and deport us [sic]."

Sincerely,
Marissa Hill-Dongre
Director, Immigration Response Team

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News Updates

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) Extended for Liberians

On March 28, the Trump Administration announced a one-year extension for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians. This extension, which came shortly before President Trump’s previously announced deadline for DED, means the Liberians who were protected from deportation due to it will continue to be able to live and work in the United States for another year. Minnesota is home to one of the largest Liberian communities in the country.

“We’re hoping that this extension will be something that we can turn into a permanent solution so that once and for all, our children can know that they belong here. As a pastor, every year I have to worry about members that will be leaving.” - Alexander Collins, a pastor at Redeem Life Church in Mounds View and executive director of the Liberian Ministers Association in Minnesota.

Binger Center Brings Legal Services to Rural Communities

MinnPost and Minnesota Lawyer both recently published stories about The Rural Immigrant Access Clinic, a for-credit class organized by the Law School’s James H. Binger Center for New Americans that offers “pop-up legal clinics in rural communities that have limited access to immigration attorneys and have experienced dramatic increases in immigration apprehension and detention.”

“There’s always been a need for legal services in rural communities. We’ve always heard about this need. The new administration created a great deal of anxiety and stress and fear in immigrant communities in Greater Minnesota. This class gives us the opportunity to give a group of law students practical, real-world experience — while assisting members of these immigrant communities.” - Deepinder Mayell, executive director of the Binger Center

Driver’s License Bill Moving at State Capitol

The Minnesota House passed legislation earlier this month that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses. The Pioneer Press reported that the measure is supported by “a major coalition of farm groups, as well as meat processors, the hospitality industry and even the conservative Minnesota Chamber of Commerce” because it will improve public safety. Opponents, however, argue the bill “incentivizes illegal immigration.” The House measure passed 74-52, and it has now been referred to the Minnesota Senate.

Perspectives

"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.