A statement on behalf of the Central Committee (ISAIAH, Mesa Latina, Navigate MN, SEIU Local 26, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee & Our Revolution Twin Cities) working for immigrant rights in Minnesota:
June 2nd, 2017
Dear community and allies,
Since announcing our call to boycott the Humphrey Mondale dinner on May 26th, 2017 we have received tremendous support from allies and the community. We are thankful for your show of solidarity with the immigrant community in these crucial times.
We are pleased to announce that we are calling off the boycott and picket line of the Humphrey Mondale dinner taking place tomorrow, Saturday June 3rd. We have held negotiations with the Governor and have come to some agreements we know are necessary to keep our families safe. We have asked the Governor to explore every last piece of executive power afforded to him to protect the community. We look forward to the Governor honoring his commitment to continue to meet with the immigrant community directly. It is time that the state of Minnesota holds a higher standard when it comes to the treatment of immigrants. We hope that this new agreement will create a Minnesota that is not only immigrant-friendly but greets new and present immigrants with radical hospitality. Let our efforts and organizing over the past two weeks and beyond be a lesson for future public leaders that we are ready to fight for our families until the very end. Our coalition has become stronger because of this and we want to acknowledge who has led our actions these weeks. Our work is led by undocumented immigrants, with strong leadership from women in Mesa Latina, ISAIAH, Navigate MN, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee and SEIU Local 26.
Our initial decision to call for a boycott of the Humphrey Mondale dinner and hold a picket line is simple: either you are with us or you are against us. Our call to action has caught the attention of key elected representatives, both at the local and national level. Several prominent elected representatives of the DFL party including four declared gubernatorial candidates answered our call and pledged to boycott the dinner. This together with the amazing solidarity of several labor unions has resulted in an agreement for moving forward together with the Governor and DFL leadership.
As you know from our public statement on June 1st we are disappointed in Governor Mark Dayton’s decision of not standing with the immigrant community and answering our calls to veto the Public Safety omnibus bill. Governor Dayton signed the bill and then decided to explore an unusual route that we were not informed of until his public announcement. His failure to veto that bill jeopardized our past and future organizing efforts in obtaining drivers’ licenses for all Minnesotans.
We want to be very clear and explain the consequences of his decisions for the future and safety of our immigrant families: by signing this bill the Governor has taken away the executive power to undo any administrative rule changes that would have given immigrants with undocumented status access to driver’s licenses. Not only did the Governor take away his own power by signing the bill which includes anti- immigrant language, he has taken away the authority from any future Governor in Minnesota to do this change through administrative rulemaking. As we have said many times before he signed this bill, our legal experts for many years gave the Governor legal evidence that he had the authority to undo the actions of former Governor Pawlenty. We are now facing a tougher fight because of this after working so hard for the last two years as the Safe Roads Coalition to make sure this language didn’t go into the Real ID bill and after working for more than ten years on driver’s license campaigns. Any efforts to obtain driver’s licenses for undocumented Minnesotans will now have to go through the legislative process, a painful process that has rendered this issue as ammunition for each major political party to either target us or leave us with empty promises session after session, election after election.
We continue on with the struggle, as, it is our duty to love and protect one another. In the words of beloved Senator Paul Wellstone, “We all do better when we all do better.” Minnesota, stand with us to fulfill this prophecy.
Our Central Committee:
SEIU Local 26
Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee
Our Revolution Twin Cities