Refugee and Immigration Program

Minnesota Advocates Refugee and Immigrant Program serves refugees, asylees and immigrants by:


·        Providing legal representation to indigent asylum seekers who have fled persecution and are in danger of torture or execution if forced to return to their home countries;

·        Combating anti-immigrant sentiment by working in Minnesota schools and communities through youth and adult education, written and video educational materials, and training and technical assistance

·        Educating about immigrant rights, community services, work authorization, and new laws affecting immigrants, thereby assisting refugees, asylees and other immigrant newcomers to become independent, self-sufficient, and productive members of the community; and

·        Providing education and advocacy for battered refugee and immigrant women and 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 Women's Project (a joint project with the Womens Human Rights Program).


2000 Highlights

With the help of more than 350 volunteer attorneys, the Refugee and Asylum Project continued to meet growing demand and assisted 900 low-income Minnesota residents by providing consultations and/or legal representation in their asylum, Torture Convention and family reunification cases.   The Project has also responded to more than 1700 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 Project's diverse 80-member speakers bureau presented to 70 audiences in both rural and urban Minnesota to convey accurate information about immigration to an estimated 5,000 people.

  • In addition to providing direct legal services to battered refugee and immigrant women and their children, the Battered Immigrant Womens Project has trained more than 500 social service providers throughout the state about immigration law and the rights of battered immigrant women.  Through this aspect of its work, the Project has played an important role in protecting the safety of battered immigrant women in Minnesota.


For more information, contact

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
310 Fourth Avenue South Suite 1000
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1012.
Tel: 612-341-3302, Fax: 612-341-2971

E-mail: [email protected]