How You Can Help During November 2020

Witnessing God’s love for all people, we stand with and advocate for immigrants through partnership, direct action, education, and support for local immigrants, as well as related organizations.

As part of our advocacy program, the Immigrant Welcoming Work Group compiles actions and local events held in support of immigrants and immigration issues. We urge you to perform some of these actions and/or attend some of the events! Content is updated monthly.

If you take any action listed in this summary, please notify Tom Haigh for tracking purposes. If you have content for future updates, please submit to Janine Sieja.


I Have Ten Minutes

  1. NEW – Sign a petition asking the Congressional Black Caucus to launch an investigation into the condition of Black immigrants in detention and demand Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) stop all deportations immediately. Several immigration advocacy organizations, including the Cameroonian American Council, Detention Watch Network and the Haitian Bridge Alliance, in October filed a joint legal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security detailing coercive tactics and physical abuse, such as ICE and private prison officers torturing Cameroonian men by breaking their fingers and forcing them to sign their deportation papers.

How: Add your name to the online petition

Sponsor: Daily Kos Liberation League

  1. NEW – Sign a petition demanding Congress defund ICE and Border Patrol. A whistleblower complaint filed last month by several legal advocacy groups documented severe medical abuses against immigrants at Irwin County Detention Center, a private prison in Georgia. Questionable medical procedures such as hysterectomies have been performed on women at this prison.

How: Add your name to the online petition

Sponsor: Daily Kos Liberation League

  1. Call a county sheriff whose jail houses Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees and urge the sheriff to test anyone who is ill for COVID-19, publish daily reports of testing outcomes, and send testing reports to the Department of Corrections. County jails are hotspots for COVID-19.

How: Use a script with contact numbers for sheriffs. Sherburne County (763-765-3800) has the most detainees. Other counties with detainees include Carver County (952-361-1145), Freeborn County (507-377-5200), Kandiyohi County (320-235-1260) and Nobles County (507-295-5378)

Sponsor: ACLU

  1. Request release for incarcerated people to protect them from COVID-19 and demand a halt to any Minnesota collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the pandemic.

How: Call Governor Tim Walz, 651-201-3400, or state Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell, 651-361-7226. Use the script outlined on ISAIAH’s website.

Sponsor: ISAIAH, a multi-racial, statewide, non-partisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice. Also supported by Minnesota Immigration Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and the Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM), under the action name Free Them All.

  1. Tell ICE to stop forcing detained Muslims to choose between faith and food. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Miami serves pork to Muslim immigrants in violation of their religious beliefs. When a detainee asked for help, the facility’s chaplain quoted President Trump’s excuse for the COVID-19 death toll: “It is what it is.” This cruelty does not have to be who we are as a country. It’s critical that Christians love our Muslim neighbors.

How: Fill out an online petition.

Sponsor: Faithful America, United We Dream, Muslim Advocates, Bend the Arc Jewish Action and the Interfaith Alliance

I Have One Hour

  1. NEW – ICOM’s monthly vigil for federal detainees is a transformative experience for participants—a cross between a protest and a worship service. After the vigil, you are welcome to stay to sit in on a deportation hearing.

How: Meet at Whipple Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, St. Paul, 7:30am Tuesday, Nov. 10. Be prepared to mask and social distance.

Sponsor: Minnesota Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM)

  1. Letter-writing campaign to Minnesota leaders. Urge state officials to free detainees and end acceptance of funding from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—and encourage Minneapolis to stop taking money from Customs and Border Patrol.

How: Access the #FreeThemAll Toolkit on the Detention Watch Network website for model letters targeting officials at multiple levels.

Targets: Write to the Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections urging him to free ICE detainees due to COVID-19. Staff and detainee cases are reported on the ICE website page on COVID-19.


Commissioner Paul Schnell

Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN 55108

Write to the governor urging him to influence Commissioner Schnell to free all ICE detainees and to encourage County Boards to end contracts with ICE. Contact:

Governor Tim Walz

Office of the Governor

75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. #130

St. Paul, MN 55155

Write to the Minneapolis City Attorney and the attorney in charge of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, asking them to stop taking the $250,000 that the Hennepin County Board gives them from Customs and Border Patrol. Contact:

Erik Nilsson

Interim City Attorney of Minneapolis

City Hall, Room 210
350 S. Fifth St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Michelle Rivero

Director of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Crown Roller Mill, Suite 425
105 Fifth Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Sponsor: Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM)

  1. Send greeting cards in the Cartas con Corazon (Cards with Heart) Project. Sending greeting cards shows support to individuals and families migrating to the United States. This is a great activity for families to do together.

How: Follow the activity instructions.

Sponsor: Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)

I Have One Day

  1. NEW – Gospel Hospitality & the Kingdom of God online event Friday, November 6, through Sunday morning, November 8. Meet virtually in Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, TX, hosted by the ministry site Pasos de Fe y Esperanza.

How: Register for the Zoom event ($20 per person or $40 per household) to attend pre-conference workshops, worship services, lunchtime workshops and even a Saturday night concert.

Sponsor: Presbyterian Border Region Outreach

  1. Assist immigrants who may be released from detention centers in Minnesota and need short-term assistance. Help is needed with meals, visits and other support while long-term housing is arranged.

How: Contact Diane Haines or Susie George, Mayflower Church coordinators, for more details.

Sponsor: Mayflower Church Immigration Team

I Can Contribute Financially

  1. Support the work of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the only national legal advocacy organization exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. Over the past 34 years, NILC has won legal decisions protecting fundamental rights, thwarted policies that would have devastated the well-being of low-income immigrants and their family members, and advanced policies that reinforce and promote equality, opportunity and justice for all.

How: Visit NILC’s website for more information and to contribute online.

  1. Provide emergency assistance to students at the Learning in Style School, in the Plymouth neighborhood, who have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to COVID-19. Plymouth member Judy Takkunen, a school volunteer, says the school needs more volunteers who can give online or phone help to English Language Learners.

How: Donate via check (made out to Learning in Style School—write “Emergency Fund” on the memo line) mailed to LIS School, 2200 Nicollet, Minneapolis MN 55404; or online (scroll to the Donate button; on the Donate page, select Other as recipient, type in “LIS School Emergency Fund” and fill in the rest as you would any online donation).

Sponsor: Learning in Style School

  1. Support shelters in Mexico during these days when we cannot cross the border to help. Shelters such as Las Torres in Nogales, Center for the Accompaniment of Migrants in Agua Prieta and The Shelter in Huichapan, Hidalgo, need food, cleaning supplies, protective gear and other basics. With borders closed, their access to support is limited.

How: Donate via Go Fund Me.

Sponsor: Ignatian Solidarity Network