Minnesota immigrants in the news and other immigration news – August 30, 2017


A Pew Research study finds that 19 percent of babies born in Minnesota over the past 25 years were born to immigrant mothers. Stories of Minnesotans from Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Somalia highlight the diversity of Minnesota immigrants.

Marchers press the cause of detained Cambodian-American (MPR, 8/28/17) Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s spokesperson said they have sent a letter of support to his attorney for the immigration court hearing and would be willing to support a pardon.

“The demonstrators chanted “no to deportations” and sought a future meeting to discuss the case of Chamroeun Phan, a Cambodian refugee who has been detained by immigration authorities for exactly a year….

“Phan had faced deportation back to Cambodia for the crime of breaking three windows outside a bar in St. Paul eight years ago.”

After deadly mudslides in Sierra Leone, a Minnesota journalist pushes community to go beyond donations (MinnPost, 8/29/17) An immigrant journalist challenges the African community to give smarter, and get beyond giving to policy decisions.

After deadly mudslides swept through Sierra Leone earlier this month, numerous events were held throughout Twin Cities metro area — meetings that both raised money for relief efforts in the west African country and detailed how the disaster had impacted many of the estimated 8,000 members of the Sierra Leone community in Minnesota. …

“We’re trying to bring the issue into the international spotlight,” said Mansaray, who runs the Brooklyn Center-based Africa Institute for International Reporting, which advocates for freedom of the press and provides media training for journalists. “The issues in Sierra Leone have been going on for many years, but certain things have never been addressed; this is why the solutions are not there.”

Welcome Home Blog Series: Oromos organize and build bridges to hold Ethiopia accountable for human rights abuses (Advocate for Human Rights, 8/29/17)

“The Oromo people have arrived in Minnesota over the past 30 years as a direct result of political persecution and other human rights abuses in Ethiopia.  Across the diaspora, Oromos continue to actively engage with the politics of their country of origin and encourage the governments of their adopted countries, including the United States, to apply pressure on Ethiopia to improve its human rights record….

“Western States have largely overlooked the plight of the Oromo, instead supporting the Ethiopian government, which is dominated by one ethnic minority group. … Ethiopia remains one of Africa’s largest recipient of foreign aid from the United States, despite the human rights abuses the Ethiopian government perpetrates.”

Minnesota’s pioneering Muslim model featured in new Nike ad campaign (Star Tribune, 8/29/17)

“Asked what message she’s sending by modeling for Nike, Aden said in a written statement: “My goal is for everyone, from all different backgrounds, to see that one of the biggest brands in the world is open to change and bettering things — really just showcasing beauty that already exists.”

St. Cloud Somali Market Receives 15K Grant, to Better Serve Community (KJON, 8/27/17) The grant goes to Minnesota Halal Meat and Grocery.

“The ethnic market was one of eight Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant Recipients.

“The Minnesota Department of Agriculture awards nearly $150,000 in grants each year to businesses looking to increase the availability of and access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate foods, specifically in middle to lower middle class areas.”

Over the past 25 years, immigrant moms bolstered births in 48 states (Pew Research, 8/28/17) In Minnesota, 19 percent of births were to immigrant women. That helped Minnesota births increase by 3%. Without immigrants, Minnesota births would have declined by 1.1%.

“Nationally, the annual number of births declined 4% from 1990 to 2015 – the result of a 10% decline in total births attributable to U.S.-born women. This was partially offset by a 6%increase in total births attributable to immigrant women. In other words, without these births to foreign-born women, the total decline in annual U.S. births would have been more than twice as large.”

And in other immigration news

ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody (ACLU, 8/28/17)

” ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs; regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.”

Pregnant woman fears miscarriage in immigration detention (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/25/17) She has been ordered to bed rest in previous pregnancies, is experiencing cramping, and says she got prenatal vitamins and lab work only after the media began inquiring about her case. She is being held at Otay Mesa, a CoreCivic private prison.

“Solis has been married to her current husband, a U.S. citizen, for five years. Because Solis entered the U.S. without authorization and because of her prior deportation, her husband cannot sponsor a green card for her without her being barred from the U.S. for 10 years.

“Her father is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and her mother has a green card. All of her seven siblings were either born in the U.S. or naturalized.”

Tough choice for Trump if Congress refuses border wall financing (Reuters, 8/28/17)

“President Donald Trump is unlikely to win congressional support for funds he wants for a proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall before an Oct. 1 deadline, meaning he may have to choose between backing down on a key campaign promise or shutting down the government.

“The second option was a politically dangerous one before Hurricane Harvey tore through southern Texas over the weekend and it now looks even riskier.”

DREAMERS like me have flourished under DACA. Trump might take it all away. (Vox, 8/29/17) One more DACA story – his family left Venezuela for the United States in 2000, when he was 11 years old.

“During the summer of 2012, I was working an unpaid communications internship in Tallahassee, Florida, with no hopes of ever getting a job that would put my college education to some use. It was not due to laziness, the economy, or unwillingness to seek a job in my preferred field. It was because I was undocumented.”


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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