Immigration Bulletin

Immigrant and refugee affairs

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Tuesday April 21, 2020


Welcome to the City of Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) Bulletin.  In this bulletin you will find information regarding immigration developments and news on issues that impact immigrant and refugee communities in the City of Minneapolis.

Sign up for the OIRA Bulletin here.

City of Minneapolis Gap Fund update

Application period for housing/utilities support is Wednesday April 21 at 9AM - Monday April 27 at 12:00 noon

The City of Minneapolis's GAP fund will begin accepting applications for housing/utility support on Wednesday, April 22 at 9AM. An overview of this fund, including what documents are needed to apply, can be found in multiple languages here. If you have questions about filing your application, call and leave a message at 612-302-3129 and your call will be returned. The application period will end on Monday April 27 at 12:00 noon. 

Worker Safety, Food Support, Distance Learning Support, Tax Assistance

Below is resource information addressing worker safety, food support, distance learning for families, and tax assistance. Please contact Michelle to add information about these and similar resource for future immigration bulletins at

Food support resources

Worker protection and safety

Workers who have concerns about rights can contact the Minnesota Department of Labor. Below are some COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for various industries from the Minnesota Department of Labor:

School Distance Learning Support

  • YMCA offers assistance with School Distance Learning, applying for unemployment insurance, and also offers food assistance. More information about the YMCA family assister program here. List of resources in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali

Tax Assistance

  • Mid Minnesota Legal Aid offers tax advice and legal representation in tax matter. See this brochure which explains their tax program. 

Grants information

City of Minneapolis Health Department:

  • Offering up to $15,000 for COVID-19 response activities. Submit applications by email at Deadline is Friday April 24 at 11:59PM.  More information available here and here

State of Minnesota:

  • The Minnesota Department of Health is issuing a request to vendors to propose a plan for media services to aid the State in getting culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages related to COVID-19 to communities of color and American Indian communities in Minnesota. Deadline for applications is April 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM.  Questions can be directed to:   More information including how to apply here:

Minnesota State Legislature Updates

Bills at currently under consideration at the Minnesota state legislature that would have an impact on immigrant and refugee communities include the following:

  • Rental and mortgage support HF4541: (note a hearing on this bill is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 22--see bill hearing information)
  • Drivers Licenses SF4453: expanding the ability to obtain a Minnesota state drivers license regardless of immigration status

Immigration and Federal Government News

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the deadline to apply for COVID-19 checks for qualifying dependents (children and grandchildren)

Social security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 but have dependent or qualifying children or grandchildren under age 17 must go the IRS webpage no later than TOMORROW (Wednesday April 22) in order to receive $500 checks for their dependent or qualifying children/grandchildren. Please immediately go to the IRS’s webpage at and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here section to provide their information. has a helpful sample facebook post and tweet to communicate this message.

Trump plan to issue Executive Order halting immigration to the United States

The Hill reports that President Trump plans to sign an executive order that would halt all immigration to the United States. No details have yet been released regarding the parameters of the order. Important facts to note include:

  • The US already has significantly restricted travel to the US from abroad. Our country is returning asylum seekers to their home countries, has already stopped immigration to the US from a number of countries, and has suspended immigration case processing at US embassies and consulates abroad.
  • Immigrants provide essential services to this country in a variety of crucial industries such as health care, food processing and manufacturing. 
  • A true commitment to reducing the enormous negative impact of COVID-19 on our society would include issuance of a Department of Homeland Security memorandum clearly stating that accessing COVID-19 related medical or financial support will have no public charge impacts, as is intimated on the USCIS website

DACA update--supplemental briefing accepted, decision by US Supreme Court anticipated by June at the latest

On Monday, April 20, the Supreme Court accepted a supplemental brief relating to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case that is awaiting issuance of a decision.  The brief presented arguments on why it would be especially harmful to end DACA during the COVID-19 pandemic.   A decision by the Court is anticipated by the end of June, though the earliest a decision could be issued is Thursday of this week. People who need assistance including legal information and advice on DACA renewals are encouraged to contact immigration legal service partners of the City of Minneapolis including Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. A full list of legal service partners is located on the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs webpage.  


Immigrants in Detention--Minnesota Freedom Fund

Immigrants across the country remain in immigration detention. Some of these individuals are  contracting or are fearful of contracting COVID-19 in custody.  A recent article appeared on this subject in the local publication Sahan Journal

In Minnesota, the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds immigrant detainees in county jail facilities.  A way to help immigrants in detention secure release from immigration custody is through payment of immigration bonds.  Contact the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a local resource that pays immigration bonds, if you know someone who needs this assistance or want to learn more on how to help pay someone's immigration bond.   

COVID-19 and Multilingual Resources

Resources are available in multiple languages and formats through City of Minneapolis channels as well as through our nonprofit, county and state partners. Some multilingual resources are here below, and information is added regularly to the OIRA webpage:

About the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) is housed within the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. For more information about the work of this office, please visit us at, contact us directly at or schedule time during virtual office hours (see below).

Virtual Office Hours

The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will be holding virtual community hours on Fridays from 3-4:30PM.  To schedule an appointment please contact Michelle by Wednesday of the week you would like to "meet" at or 612-394-6018.

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact:

 Michelle Rivero, OIRA Director

Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations or 612-394-6018

Visit our webpage at:

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.