Minneapolis City Council condemns Trump travel ban; directs city to protect refugees

The city will also form a Sanctuary City Task Force to better protect and defend undocumented families, Muslim residents and refugees.

Minneapolis City Council voted to deny Doran Companies'  demolition of the commercial property building located at 1319 4th Street SE, which houses Mesa Pizza, Dinkytown Tattoo and Camdi Restaurant in Dinkytown.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Minneapolis City Council voted to deny Doran Companies’ demolition of the commercial property building located at 1319 4th Street SE, which houses Mesa Pizza, Dinkytown Tattoo and Camdi Restaurant in Dinkytown.

Max Chao

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s travel ban Tuesday night as activists aired grievances over the ban at City Hall.

In tandem with the resolution, the city’s staff was directed to form a Sanctuary City Task Force — comprised of legal experts and immigrant leaders — to better protect and defend undocumented families, Muslim residents and refugees in Minneapolis.

The meeting comes weeks after Trump signed an executive order barring immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations — Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days.

“The last few weeks have been dizzying, I think, for the city of Minneapolis and for the entire country,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “We in Minneapolis are not dizzy … we are doing what we’ve always done and [are coming together] in times of difficulty for the people of our city.”

City Attorney Susan Segal discussed the provisions of Trump’s January executive order and how it would impactMinneapolis as a sanctuary city.

Minneapolis doesn’t violate a specific law referenced by the order, but the city could still see a federal reaction, Segal said.

“[The order] really is, in my decades of legal practice, unprecedented,” she said.

The council invited several activists to speak, including Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, executive director of Navigate Minnesota, a support group for young immigrants.

Avalos shared the stories of several anonymous Minneapolis immigrants, including a 19-year-old student without a work visa and a 36-year-old domestic abuse victim-survivor who won’t go to the police for fear of being deported.

“I know that the testimonies and the stories that I shared will never do justice for the people … but they all live in Minneapolis. They are some of your constituents,” she said.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL- Minneapolis, spoke against the immigration ban at Tuesday’s hearing.

“This ban on refugees is rooted in racism and Islamophobia. It perpetuates harmful misconceptions about refugees and immigrants and people of diverse religions and backgrounds,” Omar said.

Council members, such as Ward 3’s Jacob Frey, spoke one by one as they added their names to the resolution condemning the ban.

“I am a proud American because I still believe that the ideals of our country, the ideals upon which we were founded, are about inclusivity,” Frey said.