Last evening the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board and the Minneapolis Youth Congress joined forces to share their perspectives on making Minneapolis a welcoming city for refugees and immigrants in the wake of recent White House executive orders. I am pleased to serve on the Youth Coordinating Board, and joined with other elected officials from the board at the event, including Council Member Cam Gordon, who serves as chair.
All children, young people and their families should feel welcome and safe in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, cities and our people are on the front lines of attack under President Trump and his administration. However, we are also on the front lines of resistance, and when we come together as a community on behalf of the most vulnerable among us, we are showing Trump and everyone else who we are.
I am proud of all the youth involved in this process, for being on those front lines. Here is the text of the statement of welcome, which was signed by members of the Youth Congress and Youth Coordinating Board last night:
The Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, the Minneapolis Youth Congress and our jurisdictional partners – the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board – work together to welcome all young people and their families. Our institutions will serve all people through programs, activities and services without fear of reprisal for their immigration or refugee status.
We find the new Executive Order about immigrants and refugees to be paralyzing. Even though the Executive Order has been delayed through judicial action, the effects of these policies are still damaging. They are tearing families apart, instilling fear in children, adults, schools, businesses and communities. The ripple effect of these policies has a significant impact on our children, leaving them afraid and isolated. It is extremely damaging as it limits access to public services and trivializes their humanity.
We, as advocates and supporters of our children and young people are dedicated to the healthy development and well-being of all communities in Minneapolis. This is a vibrant and resource abundant city – a safe place for refugees and other vulnerable people coming from war torn, oppressive and dangerous countries. By doing what we can to help others in need, we enrich our own communities and make this a better place to live. All human beings are a great treasure which we cannot abandon or demean.
In these times, let us look out for one another and make sure all of our children and their families feel welcome and safe in Minneapolis. We provide support for the marginalized and affirm the existence of all people – youth, adults, those with and without families, those of all gender identities or sexual orientation, regardless of religious belief, race, ethnicity, abilities, or socioeconomic status.