The city of Brooklyn Park and Mayor Jeff Lunde released a statement
Wednesday to clear up confusion and address concerns following President Donald Trump's temporary visa and refugee restrictions implemented earlier this week.
About 20 percent of Brooklyn Park's population was born outside the United States and some immigrants have raised concerns about an anti-immigrant bias.
"People are scared about what does this mean for them," said
Abdullah Kiatamba, president of African Immigrant Services in
Brooklyn Park. "People begin
thinking about legal status, police pulling you over, what are their
implications for all of this?"
Brooklyn Park police also shared its policy
on what it can and cannot do. What the city wants to make clear is the police department has no authority to enforce federal immigration policy. However, police will make arrests if they've got probable cause.
"If we pull over someone for example and they have five passports, one
picture, that driver and five different names, and they had plans to blow
up the FBI building in Brooklyn Center, this is an extreme example, but
it's a good example. We're going to contact the federal government," explained Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde.
Because of its large immigrant population, Brooklyn Park developed an internal policy to govern employees' action related to immigration in March of 2016.
On Thursday community leaders will meet at Brooklyn Park City Hall to talk about the temporary ban on immigrants and refugees from seven mostly Muslim countries that officials from current and past presidential administrations have called "terrorist hotbeds."
Both the city and Brooklyn Park nonprofit African Immigrant Services have a list of immigration lawyers who can help residents for free. Officials say they don't want people getting scammed, nor do they want them relying on social media sites for information.
Sonya Goins & CCX News firstname.lastname@example.org