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By Erika Zurawski

Minneapolis, MN – On June 8, 75 people gathered to protest President Biden’s executive order closing the border and restricting asylum. Immediately after Biden issued the order on Tuesday, June 4, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) called an emergency protest to oppose his action.

Biden’s executive order closes the U.S./Mexico border and severely restricts asylum. It is a continuation of Donald Trump’s repressive immigration policies and is a copy of the ban Trump tried to put into effect before he was blocked by the federal courts. During his presidential campaign of 2020, Biden sharply criticized Trump’s immigration policies and decried his efforts to restrict asylum. Biden is openly breaking his campaign promises and shifting U.S. immigration politics to the far right.

Susana De León, an immigration lawyer and community organizer, talked about the politicians’ hateful rhetoric: “Everything continues to be blamed on Black and brown bodies, indigenous people, and people who have been left out of the system by the same corporations that are now enjoying the highest profits while we have to get food at the highest prices ever.”

The location of the protest was significant. Protesters rallied in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood, a block away from where dozens of day laborers gather daily in desperate search of jobs to feed themselves and their families. The majority of the day laborers are immigrants who recently arrived from Ecuador, driving home the stark reality that President Biden is taking only repressive actions against immigrants while national pressure builds for Biden to grant Temporary Protective Status to Ecuadorian immigrants.

Adriana Cerrillo, speaking on behalf of the Minnesota Interfaith Coalition on Immigration, told the crowd her story and why it was difficult but important to her to be at the action: “It is very difficult for me to be here today, because my own trauma and my own experience from this fucking system is really hard, it’s really difficult. This system has taken so much from me, and yet it is my obligation to stay strong, and the way that I stay strong is by being with and surrounding myself with people like you here today.”

Asylum is a human right protected under international law. Both Democrats and Republicans are using immigrants in a political game. Biden’s closing of the border and nearly total ban on asylum is dangerous and must be opposed.

We must take a firm stance against racist and repressive anti-immigrant policies regardless of which political party is in power. MIRAC will join immigrant rights groups from around the country to protest both the Republican and the Democratic National Conventions this summer. Stand with MIRAC to demand no more attacks on immigrants and legalization for all.

#MinneapolisMN #MN #ImmigrantRights #USMexicoBorder #MIRAC #Asylum

By Robynne Johnson

Saint Paul protest at Trump campaign stop

St. Paul, MN – On Friday, May 17, a crowd gathered outside the annual GOP Lincoln Reagan Dinner to protest the attendance of former U.S. President Donald Trump, sending the messages to defend reproductive rights, no to a Muslim ban, and of legalization for all.

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By Montana Hirsch

International Workers Day march in Minneapolis.  | Fight Back! News/Brad Sigal

Minneapolis, MN – On May 1, over 500 people took to the streets on International Workers Day to march for immigrant and workers’ rights. The rally and march was organized by a coalition initiated by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and MN Workers United (MWU).

Each year, International Workers Day is celebrated around the world with a call for solidarity with all workers and for union rights. International Workers Day has its origin in the fight for an eight-hour workday in the United States, where there were massive strikes and sharp confrontations in May of 1886.

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By staff

Members of unions and immigrant rights organizations who have organized marches on May 1 over the years in Minneapolis were present to receive the city council resolution promoting International Workers Day. | Fight Back! News/staff

Minneapolis, MN – At their April 25 meeting, the Minneapolis city council passed an honorary resolution recognizing May 1 as International Workers Day and highlighting the struggle for immigrant and workers’ rights. The resolution was presented by Council Vice President Aisha Chughtai together with Councilmembers Aurin Chowdhury and Jason Chavez.

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By Gillian Rath

Protest at governor's residence demands divestment from apartheid Israel.  | Fight Back! News/Ashley Taylor-Gougé

St. Paul, MN – On February 28, the Minnesota Anti-War Committee organized a protest at the Eastcliff Mansion, where Governor Tim Walz currently resides. On the eve of the Minnesota State Board of Investment (SBI) meeting, a crowd of over 100 people rallied to demand that the Minnesota governor, also the chair of the SBI, divest from apartheid Israel and weapons manufacturers.

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By Meredith Aby

Twin Cities marches in solidarity with Palestine. | Fight Back! News/Sabry Wazwaz

St. Paul, MN – On February 25, over 1000 people carrying Palestinian flags and signs lined both sides of the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River and then marched to Governor Tim Walz’ Eastcliff Mansion residence to demand that the Minnesota State Board of Investments (SBI) divest from Israeli weapons manufacturers, banks and bonds, and other entities complicit in Israel’s apartheid system in Palestine. Research done by the MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) shows that the MN SBI invests more than $3 billion this way.

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By staff

Eagle Pass, TX – Grassroots organizers from Legalization for All Network affiliates in California, Texas and Minnesota are on their way to the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas to learn from and support local organizers doing the work to feed, house and support immigrants and refugees in this town on the U.S./Mexico border.

Tensions have risen in Eagle Pass as Governor Greg Abott of Texas has continued to heavily militarize the border there, with Texas National Guard troops continuing to occupy Shelby Park along the Rio Grande River in defiance of federal court rulings and community demands that they leave.

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By staff

Immigrant rights supporters rally for North Star Act in front of MN State Capitol

Saint Paul, MN – On Monday, February 12, the opening day of the state legislative session, members of the North STAR Alliance and others gathered to support the North STAR Act at the Upper Mall of the Minnesota State Capitol. About 100 people attended holding blue signs with the new Minnesota state flag that read: “Stand with Immigrants, support the North STAR Act” while listening to speakers from the North STAR Alliance.

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By staff

Protest at Edina, Minnesota school board meeting against repression of pro-Palestine students. | Fight Back! News/Sophie Breen

Edina, MN – On January 8, more than 50 supporters of Edina students packed the school board meeting for the second time to express their concern about the political repression of pro-Palestine students. At their last meeting on December 11, 2023, the Edina school board adjourned their meeting instead of listening to the concerns of students and community members. The community returned, as promised, to demand an end to student repression.

Supporters demanded justice for a group of Muslim students that were targeted and suspended after participating in a walkout for Palestine at their school on October 26, 2023. School administrators punished the students for using the popular chant, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free.”

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By Sophie Breen

Protest at Senator Klobuchar’s demands she vote no on bill that would send billions in military funding to Israel and Ukraine, and implement anti-immigrant policies at home. | Fight Back! News/staff

Minneapolis, MN – Over 100 protesters gathered outside of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office on Wednesday evening, December 20, calling for Senator Klobuchar to vote no on a bill that would send billions in military funding to Israel and Ukraine, as well as implement anti-immigrant policies that would have disastrous effects on immigrants in the U.S.

Protesters gathered waving Palestinian flags and signs that read “Klobuchar: We say no to U.S. aid to Israel! We will not pay for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”

Latifah Moss, a member of MIRAC connected the fight for liberation in Palestine and the fight for immigrants in the U.S., saying: “MIRAC continues to stand in solidarity with immigrants and demand that our elected officials do what is right. In a time when we are watching families be torn apart by war, genocide, Border Patrol, and harmful anti-immigrant laws all over the world, we say no more separating families here in the U.S. at the border or overseas with U.S. money aiding war.”

The bill, which will now be voted on in January, is still in negotiations. Some legislators have insisted on the addition of anti-immigrant policies that would dismantle key asylum protections, allow for faster deportations with fewer protections, and close legal immigration pathways for immigrants from several countries.

Anti-War Committee speaker Meredith Aby-Keirstead spoke about the U.S. funding wars across the world. She stated that funding to both Ukraine and Israel should be stopped.

After speakers, activists picketed outside of the office. Chants for the end of deportations, no border walls, and no more money for war.

The protest was initiated by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee and was endorsed by MN Anti-War Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, The Free Palestine Coalition, Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, and other organizations.

#MinneapolisMN #ImmigrantRights #International #Palestine #AntiWar #MIRAC #MNAWC