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Overflow Crowd Attends Comprehensive Immigration Reform Forum Co-sponsored by Minnesota Advocates
1/11/2006 7:30 PM

An overflow crowd gathered on January 10 to hear views on comprehensive immigration reform. Speakers, including Archbishop Harry Flynn, Selamawit Adeda, Professor Katherine Fennelly of the Humphrey Institute, and Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Executive Director John Keller called for support of immigration policies that respect people's basic human rights and economic justice. Ethiopian-born Selamawit Adeda shared her story of flight from persecution.

Responding to recent proposals by Governor Pawlenty, representatives of Minneapolis' and St. Paul's police departments called for policies that build trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybek and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman urged Minnesotans to join the fight against anti-immigrant legislation.

Archbishop Harry Flynn, calling for morally acceptable immigration policies, reminded the crowd that "undocumented people are vulnerable—and our deepest principles demand that we respond to their needs, out of respect for the human rights of every person, including the right to work to support a family, the right to emigrate and the right to participate in society. These rights are clearly articulated in many of our faith traditions, as well as in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights."

The primary purpose of the forum was to call on Senators Mark Dayton and Norm Coleman to vote against the Senate version of the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437). This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, is the most restrictive immigration bill to be considered by Congress in decades. Support of the McCain/Kennedy Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S. 1033, H.R. 2330), bipartisan legislation designed to provide opportunities for guest workers, family reunification, and a legal path to citizenship, was urged.

The Forum was co-sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association MN/Dakotas Chapter, Centro Campesino, Centro Legal, Inc., Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Jewish Community Action and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

Get Acrobat Reader  Archbishop Flynn 1.10.06  
Get Acrobat Reader  Katherine Fennelly 1.10.06  
Get Acrobat Reader  John Keller 1.10.06