Program Summary

Minnesota Advocates Refugee and Immigrant Program currently serves refugees, asylees and immigrants by: (1) recruiting and training volunteer attorneys to represent in asylum proceedings indigent local residents who have fled racial, religious, political and gender-based persecution and are in danger of torture or execution if forced to return to their home countries; (2) assisting refugees, asylees and other indigent immigrant newcomers to become independent, self-sufficient, productive members of the community by educating about immigrant rights, community services, work authorization, and new laws affecting immigrants; (3) mobilizing communities to combat anti-immigrant bias through youth and adult education, media projects, video, myth/fact exercises and speaker training; and (4) providing education and advocacy on behalf of battered immigrant women and their children. The Refugee and Immigrant Program provides these services through the Refugee and Asylum Project, the B.I.A.S. (Building Immigrant Awareness and Support) Project and the Battered Immigrant Womens Project (a joint project with the Womens Human Rights Program).

1998 Highlights

  • With the help of more than 300 volunteer attorneys, the Refugee and Asylum Project has assisted more than 700 low-income Minnesota residents by providing consultations and/or legal representation in their asylum and humanitarian parole cases. The Project has also responded to more than 1300 requests for information, including legal information, country documentation and referrals.
  • The B.I.A.S. (Building Immigrant Awareness and Support) Project worked with 39 immigrant-based organizations to provide 500 immigrants and refugees with information about their legal rights, new laws and regulations, and pending legislation. Further, the Projects diverse 80-member speakers bureau presented to 70 audiences in both rural and urban Minnesota to convey accurate information about immigration to an estimated 3500 people.
  • To celebrate the positive impact of immigrants, the Refugee and Immigrant Program highlighted the contributions of Minnesotas immigrants at our second annual Celebration of Community and Diversity in December of 1998. More than 150 immigrants and advocates attended the event and were treated to ethnic food and artwork contributed by more than 30 local ethnic organizations, businesses and members of Minnesotas immigrant community. Entertainment was provided by an African dance group and South American musical ensemble.

For more information, contact Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights,
310 Fourth Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1012.
Tel: 612-341-3302, Fax: 612-341-2971, E-mail:
[email protected]

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