How You Can Help During January 2021

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 – Save the Date for a meeting of Plymouth Congregational Church’s Film Club, focusing on the 2019 documentary The River and the Wall, a beautiful and thought-provoking film, at 12:30pm Feb. 7. The film follows five friends who journey by bike, foot, boat and horse from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico along the Rio Grande. On their journey, they explore immigration and environmental issues raised by the construction of the border wall. Beth Hoffman Faeth and Joan Thompson, who both visited the Arizona border in February, will lead the discussion.

How: Please watch the film before attending the Zoom discussion. The River and the Wall is available to rent/buy on Vimeo, YouTube and Amazon Prime. For those with subscriptions to Kanopy or Starz, the film is also available there, and the Hennepin County Library has six copies of the DVD.

Sponsors: Plymouth’s Immigrant Welcoming Working Group and the Racial Justice Initiative.

  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. 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. 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 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

I Have One Hour

  1. NEW – Attend an Inauguration Day Protest, “We Demand a People’s Agenda,” to highlight the need to stop deportations and family separation and defend DACA, as well as to highlight other issues including climate change, indigenous sovereignty, police brutality, aid to Israel, and sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Unite varied movements to organize for a better future!

How: Join the event at 5pm Jan. 20. Details will be posted to Facebook.

Sponsors: The Anti-War Committee and the Climate Justice Committee as well as various Minneapolis organizations.

  1. NEW – Attend a Virtual Border Issues Fair, featuring an opening session with Randy Meyer, Senior Pastor at Good Shepherd UCC and a host of Plymouth’s Arizona border visit in February. Virtual Common Ground on the Border and Santa Cruz Valley Border Issues Fair is a four-day event exploring the arts and culture of the border and deepening conversations about the complicated issues that collide here.

How: Join the event Jan. 12-16. Find more information and register.

Sponsors: Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, Sahuarita, AZ.

  1. Write Letters to Minnesota leaders, urging them 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)

I Have One Day

  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. NEW Buy a handmade bordado from an Etsy shop and support women refugees.
  1. NEW Help the Green Valley – Sahuarita Samaritans put water in the desert, among other kind services for migrants.
  1. NEWSupport the Casa Alitas program, which serves migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty by providing short-term shelter and help to reunite with family members in the United States.
  1. NEWSupport the Kino Border Initiative, a multi-faith center for immigrants in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The center offers 380 beds for immigrant women and children. The estimated immigrant population on the streets in Nogales is 3,500.
  1. Support the Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM). The coalition is handling a record number of cases, with new needs created by the pandemic. For example, ICOM assisted someone transitioning from detention in finding quarantine housing, and supported a detainee who brought a lawsuit against ICE demanding release due to vulnerability to COVID-19 created by an underlying medical condition. The organization is close to its annual spending limit, with new requests for help pouring in.

How: Visit ICOM’s website and click the blue “Donate!” button in the upper right-hand corner or send a check to 2730 E. 31st St., Minneapolis, MN 55422.

  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.