|Shaping Minnesota’s Agenda on Immigration:
A Community Conversation
town hall style meeting with panel
|View an 1896 Sample Election Ballot which was distributed at the meetings in 2005.|
|Read the summary More than 600 people attended the Community Conversation, held March 21st, which launched the Minnesota Meeting series on immigration. The conversation included interactive polling and audience participation in order to begin formulating a statewide agenda on immigration. Fred de Sam Lazaro, correspondent for public television’s The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, moderated the event.
Panelists included: Dr. Patricia Harvey, St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent; Matt Kramer, Minnesota Commissioner of Employment & Economic Development; Jorge Saavedra, chief legal officer of Centro Legal; Bonnie Reitz, Mayor of Austin; Gloria Lewis, director of the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health at the Minnesota Department of Health; Ubah Shirwa, publisher of Haboon, a national Somali magazine; Pakou Hang, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Democracy and Citizenship.
|National Immigration Policy:
Reshaping Minnesota’s Workforce and Culture
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New immigrants are coming to Minnesota in historic numbers, reshaping the state’s workforce and cultural landscape.
This event focused on how national immigration policy on such issues as legal immigration levels, guest worker programs, and refugee resettlement affect Minnesota.
U.S. Representative Jim Kolbe (R-Arizona), a Congressional leader on immigration issues, opened the event with a short address. Yvonne Cheung Ho, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, moderated a conversation with Rep. Kolbe and Jesse Bethke Gomez, president of Chicanos Latinos Unidos En Servicio (CLUES), a prominent human services provider for Minnesota’s Latino community and the site of the state’s new Mexican consulate, and Stanley S. Hubbard, president and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., which owns KSTP-Channel 5.
A group of community leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, which includes representatives of immigrant communities, gathered in Marshall, Minnesota, for a “satellite meeting,” connected to the Minneapolis event via the Internet.
|Read the summary
One of the most difficult and emotional debates in America today is finding the balance between enhancing the nation’s security while respecting the civil rights of immigrants and visitors to America.
The program opened with remarks by Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has voiced serious concerns about how fears over homeland security are being used to curtail the rights of Americans – especially new immigrants. The program then focused on Minnesota’s homeland security policies and their impact on immigrants.
The discussion was led by Minnesota State Senator Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul), a leading advocate of civil liberties and the highest ranking Hmong-American elected official in the country, and Mike Ward, Anti-Terrorism Coordinator and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota. (Mr. Ward replaced scheduled panelists Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Campion, who was unable to attend.)