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 28, 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.

Presidential Proclamation on Immigration to the United States

President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation that took effect at 11:59PM on Thursday April 23 suspending some immigration to the United States. This proclamation prevents some people from entering the United States as lawful permanent residents.  People who are NOT impacted by this proclamation include:

  • those who are already in the United States;
  • people who have already obtained permanent residence and are returning to the US to resume permanent residence;
  • spouses and under 21 year old children of US citizens;
  • additional individuals as indicated at the OIRA webpage and this summary  

A Facebook Live event on who is impacted by this proclamation will be hosted by the Immigrant Law Center (ILCM) in multiple languages on Wednesday April 29. 

Webinars and Community Information Sessions

Minnesota Department of Labor

  • The State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry hosts a weekly webinar to discuss worker rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration information is located here

Minnesota Department of Human Services, Resettlement Programs Office

  • The Resettlement Programs Office at Department of Human Services is cohosting a series of refugee and immigrant briefings.  State leaders from Minnesota Department of Health, Department of Education and Department of Employment and Economic Development will share information and answer questions on these calls
  • The first call, co-hosted with Voices in the Wilderness for Swahili speakers will be TODAY Tuesday, April 28 at 10:30 am.   The call will be in English and Swahili.  Join by phone (415-655-0003, Access code: 960-786-974) or Webex
  • Another call will on Friday May 1 at 4PM in Anuak. Call in information here: (415-655-0003/Access Code 969-541-211)
  • To learn more about calls in additional languages, contact

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development--Community Calls

  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) hosts a weekly series of calls to provide updates on DEED's response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These community calls provide answers and updates for  community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Calls take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 4:00pm, and questions may be submitted ahead of time using this form.   
  • The call-in number and PIN is the same every day.  Call-in number: 415-655-0003                   PIN: 969-724-973 
  • To be added to the invitation list for these calls, contact Maureen Ramirez, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, at  

Funds/Grants/Requests for Proposals

Asian Media Access - Emergency Relief Fund

The Emergency Relief Fund is intended for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander youth and their families. Their online application targets youth and families in need. Asian Media Access can grant immediate cash relief of $200 and supplies to applicants, please share this opportunity with your communities. Grants are available to support the following essential services and relief efforts:

  • Children/Youth and/or Elder care
  • Cultural, Ceremonial, Spirit-Aligned Healing Support
  • Economic Hardship Relief
  • Educational Access
  • Food Delivery
  • Information and Communications — Access to accurate information; Radio/T.V., Internet
  • Loss under the Racism Incidents
  • Personal Protective Gears and Cleaning Supplies
  • Shelter and Housing
  • Social-Emotional Support

In addition, Asian Media Access has created an ongoing list of resources on their website.

COVID-19 and Ramadan

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has consulted with Imams from across Minnesota to develop guidance for observing Ramadan while slowing the spread of COVID-19.  This Guidance on COVID-19 and observing Ramadan can also be found on the MDH website.

Also, for the first time in the City of Minneapolis, the Muslim call to prayer or the adhan,  is being broadcast over loudspeakers in the Cedar Riverside area over Ramadan. This partnership between the City of Minneapolis and community members is especially meaningful as state officials have recommended that Mosques cancel all social and religious gatherings in the interest of public health and safety. Mayor Jacob Frey expressed his hope that the daily broadcasts would give some stability and reassurance to city residents as Muslims prepare for Ramadan.

Additional Resource Information and Support 

COVID-19: Behavioral Health Resources

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was created to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. The NCTSN is continuing to create resources to address the behavioral health needs of children, families, and communities impacted by COVID-19. 

Visit the National Child Traumatic Stress Network website to find the latest updates on behavioral health resources. 

Public Charge Information

"Public charge" is a test for immigrants coming to the U.S., and for some immigrants in the U.S., who are applying for a green card for the first time. Informative brochures on Public Charge from the Minnesota Department of Human Services are available in English, Hmong, Karen, Somali and SpanishVisit for information on COVID-19 Care and Public Charge. 

Tax Assistance--Prepare and Prosper

A local nonprofit, Prepare + Prosper works with people with low- to moderate-incomes to build financial well-being through free tax preparation and financial services, coaching, and products. P+P is currently offering remote support in filing returns for taxes and stimulus payments and is also virtually enrolling people in safe and affordable prepaid debit cards and their FAIR banking products (including a checking account) to quickly access Economic Impact Payments and tax refunds. For more information, visit For tax help or general questions, contact 651-287-0187 or 

Discounted Chromebooks for Students

Families with students in school can obtain Chromebooks for distance learning at significantly reduced cost ($25) through Minnesota Afterschool Advance.  Contact OIRA for flyers on this program in multiple languages at

Discrimination Assistance

Discrimination based on someone’s race, ethnicity, religion, or other protected class is prohibited.

On April 6, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan launched a Discrimination Helpline enabling Minnesotants who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR). If you or anyone in your community faces discrimination, please call 1-833-454-0148 to report the incident. To learn more about the helpline visit:

Residents of the City of Minneapolis can learn more about filing a discrimination complaint through the City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department

Immigration and Federal Government News

USCIS Planning to Resume in person services on or after June 4

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to re-open in compliance with local and state orders, on or after June 4. Until that time, individuals may still submit applications and petitions to USCIS. More information at the USCIS webpage.

USCIS addresses excusing filing delays for applications impacted by COVID-19

USCIS may consider impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic when deciding whether to excuse delays in filing immigration documents based on extraordinary circumstances.  With regard to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), USCIS states that if an emergency (such as COVID-19) prevents the departure of a VWP entrant, USCIS in its discretion may grant a period of satisfactory departure for up to 30 days. For those VWP entrants already granted satisfactory departure and unable to depart within this 30-day period because of COVID-19 related issues, USCIS has the authority to temporarily provide an additional 30-day period of satisfactory departure. To request satisfactory departure from USCIS, a VWP entrant should call the USCIS Contact Center.   More information from USCIS can be found here.  

Immigrants in Detention--FALM and Legal Service Organizations

A local organization composed of medical and legal professionals and community advocates,  Frente Accion Latino Minnesota (FALM), is advocating for the release of immigration detainees. To be involved in these efforts and learn more about this work contact Dr. Miguel Fiol ( or University of Minnesota Law School immigration attorney Kathy Moccio ( 

If you know someone in immigration custody needing assistance in seeking release from custody, contact the following organizations for help:

Mid Minnesota Legal Aid: Intake number is 612-334-5970. Immigration intake is on Mondays and Thursdays.

Advocates for Human Rights: Call client client at 612-341-9845 for an intake. This is a free call from immigration detention.    

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.