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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Howard (DFL)

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Legislative Update - July 2, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Our Crisis at the Southern Border and at Home 

As we celebrate our Independence Day this year, I can’t help but think of the humanitarian crisis at our southern border and at home. The ideals our nation was founded upon - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all – tells us that we are better than this.

I have heard from many of you that share a deep concern for what is happening and want to help. Below you will find some information and resources to help you learn, get involved and share with others.

Last week, the House of Representatives POCI (People of Color and Indigenous) Caucus held an informational hearing to hear from immigration experts who have been to the southern border.
We also heard from experts who shared information about immigration issues in our community and their impact on families and children.

They shared about the atrocities they have seen first hand, detailing the immoral and illegal conditions facing children and families in detention centers. Here in Minnesota, ICE raids are up 80%, leading to families being torn apart. Fear and trauma, especially for children, ripples through our communities. Importantly, we also discussed solutions and actions that we can take.
This was a very informative hearing and I would encourage you to listen here

Getting involved 
During the hearing we heard about the important work of several organizations at our southern border and in Minnesota to respond to this humanitarian crisis. Most or all of these organizations are non-profits. I have included links and information below if you would like to learn more about their efforts and how you can support them.

Organizations supporting humanitarian efforts 
Together Rising - Providing resources and funding for the attorneys who hold the government accountable and monitor their compliance in detaining children.
RAICES - Representing detained immigrants at the border.
San Diego Rapid Response Network - Helps released asylum seekers find shelter, food and resources once they are released at the port of entry in San Diego)

Minnesota-Led Organizations 
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota - Represents detained and non-detained immigrants facing deportation in Minnesota, provides free legal services to immigrants and works on advocacy issues)
The Advocates for Human Rights - Represents detained and non-detained asylum seekers and immigrant children facing deportation, works on advocacy issues)
Volunteer Lawyers Network - Runs free walk-in legal services clinics for immigrants, among other resources
International Institute of Minnesota - Resettlement agency, helps newly-resettled refugees in Minnesota)
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid - Represents immigrants and works on advocacy issues)

I wish you all a safe, relaxing and happy Independence Day. Take some time to celebrate with your family and friends. I hope you’ll join me in also reflecting on the people who won’t have that chance this year. May our compassion for our fellow men and women guide us in creating a better future – for all.

Michael Howard