We Celebrate! Thank you to all who registered your thoughtful comments and questions regarding our proposed endorsement of the MN Sanctuary State Coalition Position Paper. Fr. Jim DeBruycker and our Parish Council had expressed their support, and wanted to make sure that parishioner voices were heard as well. The response was resoundingly positive, and the parish of St. Joan of Arc has officially endorsed this paper. We are the first Catholic congregation to sign on, and very proud to do so.
As one parishioner responded: "I know I am in the right place at the right time when I read SJA furthering such a necessary undertaking. YES we must be a sanctuary and YES the laws must protect those who cannot protect themselves. I applaud the parish in going forward with supporting the work of the Lord."
Minnesota Sanctuary State Coalition Position Paper
Signatories: Episcopal Church in Minnesota (ECMN) - Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM) - Social Justice Committee of Lyndale United Church of Christ (SJC-LUCC) - Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ (MNC-UCC) – Center for Sustainable Justice (CSJ) - Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) - Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) - Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MAS MN) – Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (HTLC) Sanctuary and Resistance to Injustice (SARI) – Women’s March Minnesota (WMM) - Immigrant Welcoming Committee of Plymouth Congregational Church (IWC-PCC) - Twin Cities Friends (TCF) – Mayflower UCC Immigration Team (MIT) – St. Joan of Arc Welcome the Stranger Ministry
Several additional congregations, including the Basilica of St. Mary, are currently in discernment regarding joining the Coalition.
Who we are:
We are a united, interfaith and grassroots Coalition whose sole purpose is to advance progressive immigrant and refugee rights in Minnesota. We believe in treating all members of our community with dignity, respect, and compassion. We believe families are stronger together and diversity makes our communities healthier. We believe that all policies and practices that work with immigrants and refugees should represent these values.
Together, we represent approximately one million Minnesota residents. As an interfaith and grassroots Coalition, we are motivated and joined together by our common values as citizens of Minnesota, of the United States, and the world:
● We will lead with love for our neighbor,
● We believe in the human dignity of all persons,
● We will fight for the protection of all immigrants and refugees, and
● We will fight for the dignified care of immigrants and refugees.
What we propose
Minnesota’s government entities need to create policies and practices that are consistent with our stated values. We urge Governor Walz and the Minnesota State Legislature to pass and enact a law making Minnesota a Sanctuary State, and that such a law cover local jurisdictions. If the legislature fails to act, the Governor should issue an Executive Order, and we urge the Minnesota Attorney General support this Executive Order.
The Minnesota Sanctuary State law would include:
● Minnesota state government entities do not share information, collaborate with, or act in lieu of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE),
● The state legislature pass a law making driver’s licenses available to undocumented immigrants,
● The state legislature pass laws that prevent partnership agreements with ICE, including 287g agreements, no private prisons, and closing all immigrant detention facilities in Minnesota,
● The state legislature or the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office expand legal aid services, and
● The Minnesota Attorney General create a ‘Bill of Rights’ for suspects considering a guilty plea, and that the AG work to inform prosecutors, Public Defenders and private attorneys to inform all individuals facing criminal charges that they may face immigration consequences if they enter a guilty plea, and that they have the right to consult with the consulate of their country of nationality.
● Examples of bills in the 2019-2020 state legislature that we supported include: SF 231 (Scope of Cooperation with Federal Immigration Efforts), HF 3060 (Prohibited Contracts), HF 3061 (Detention Standards), HF 2586 (U-visa certifications), HF 2374 (Municipal I.D. Private Data), HF 3067 (Private Prisons), HF 3975 (Post Conviction Relief), HF4611/SF4540 (State benefits for mixed status families).