In 2014, we sat down to create a plan to uplift a leaderful generation of Latinx folks. For the last 3 years, we have been working hard on visioning, arm teams, studying and applying models with a clear collective/community interests of moving power into prosperity with and for our communities. With new additions to our team both in staff and board, a merger soon to be anounced and intentional organizing infrastructure, we are almost ready to launch. #LatinxPoliticalPower  #UnidosMN STAY PUT!


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We are hiring!!!

Navigate MN is a 10-year-old organization dedicated to build power in the Latinx community in the state of Minnesota. Navigate MN was created by college students who identified a growing need for the development of resources to help immigrant students pursue higher education in Minnesota. In its ten years of work, Navigate MN has expanded its work to include a variety of projects around education access for the immigrant and mixed status community including advocating for system change in public school districts, organizing for the passage of the MN Dream Act and other pro-immigrant and anti-poverty initiatives.

We are hiring for two positions both within the metro area.




Beyond DACA: community forum, legal screenings and resources (Sept. 12)


Saturday Sept. 12, 2017 at 9 AM – 12 PM

Shakopee West Junior High – 200 10th Ave E, Shakopee, Minnesota 55379

*****Espanol abajo*****
Navigate MN, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Shakopee Diversity Alliance and the Office of Senator Al Franken are partnering to bring legal resources and screenings for DACA renewals and other immigration remedies. Senator Al Franken will join us.

Navigate MN, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Shakopee Diversity Alliance y la oficina del Senador Al Franken se unen para traer recursos legales para renovacion de DACA y otros remedios migratorios. El Senador Al Franken nos acompanara.


The Phase out of DACA – Info/Resources


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration option for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16. Although DACA does not provide a pathway to lawful permanent residence, it does provide temporary protection from deportation, work authorization, and the ability to apply for a social security number.
On September 5, 2017 President Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be phased out over two and a half years. Here is what you need to know (PDF): End of DACA FAQs (ILRC)(September 11, 2017)

This infographic is a visual flowchart to help community members and DACA recipients understand if they are eligible to renew their DACA now and what they need to know. Each of the infographic’s bulletpoints includes a hyperlink to more information.

Crimes and DACA Renewals

The Trump Administration has announced the “phase-out” of DACA, and tens of thousands of DACA recipients must decide whether to apply for a last renewal.  Other DACA recipients are wondering what may happen to them if they can’t or don’t renew.  This is an especially worrisome situation for DACA recipients who have a criminal record. Acknowledging that we don’t yet have clear answers, this advisory will provide information to help advocates address the following questions with their clients: Is it “safe” for someone with a criminal history to renew their DACA application? What kinds of legal self-defense steps can people take, whether or not they apply to renew? What are the “dangerous crimes” that are bars to DACA and/or listed in the Notice to Appear Memorandum (NTA Memo)?

More resources are available at www.ilrc.org

Until ALL are free…

Dear community,

We begin this statement by honoring the communities who walked these lands before us, and who continue to guard them as its most knowledgeable caregivers – the Ojibwe and Dakota peoples of Minnesota, “The Sky-Tinted Water” or “The Cloudy Water.” We thank those whose land has welcomed us, and we honor their struggle for self-determination and for dignity. We follow their lead as they remind us we must first honor the land that holds us and offers us nourishment on a daily basis.

As you know, anti-immigrant powers have come together to challenge DACA, and President Trump plans to make an official announcement on September 5th. We have no faith in a man that time after time has decided to side with racists, white supremacists, and anti-immigrant nationalists.

In good faith, DACA recipients gave the federal government information about the institutions where we/they study and work, submitted our fingerprints, and shared every little detail of our lives in exchange for some peace of mind, a deferred deportation, and access to a renewable two-year work permit that has allowed many of us to prosper and reunite with our families.  Through the years, DACA proved to be not only a pro-immigrant program, but a pro-education, pro-prosperity, pro-innovation and anti-crime initiative with a minimum cost to taxpayers and overwhelming support due to the positive impact in communities across the nation. Resonating with our very own Paul Wellstone’s reminders that “we all do better when we all do better,” immigrants proved this to be true given the opportunities granted by DACA.

President Trump ran and won an election by using immigrants and refugees as the scapegoats of hate, racism, and bigotry. Apart from being inhumane and immoral, his proposed blueprint for mass deportation laid out on February 21st, 2017 is also expensive. The administration needs a lot of resources in order to fulfill the promise of a wall, of increasing it’s immigration detention daily bed quotas to almost 52,000, as well as other measures that will continue to further the criminalization of immigrants. Congress goes back to session on September 5th, the same date that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton set as a deadline for President Trump to rescind DACA, and the day media has declared President Trump will make public his decision on the fate of 800 000 people.

We are also deeply concerned about the divisive messages taking central stage as DACA is challenged. These messages continue the oppression of our parents and DACA holders by repeating time and time again that these youth were “brought here by their parents through no fault of their own.” We are very clear: not only DACA holders have no fault on their/our own, also our/their parents and the rest of the undocumented population are clear that we have lived in a global crisis in which trade agreements and wars for profit and resources have exploited, marginalized, pushed out and derooted millions of black, brown and API people from their land of origin, who in order to survive and prosper, had to take a leap of faith and risk it all to come to this country.  We reject the notion that  we have to further the lies of white supremacy in order to get public support of the American people, and a pathway trough the legislative process.

We denounce the history of anti-immigrant sentiments that have severely impacted immigrants of color, and we affirm that the current xenophobic climate is experienced by all communities of color in a variety of ways – this is not exclusively a Latino issue. African and API immigrant communities have been under attack for far too long; African and African American people have a long history of struggling for citizenship rights, during slavery and after abolition. The Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese people from migrating to the U.S. for over fifty years. Muslim immigrants are facing renewed Islamophobic initiatives similar to those seen after 9/11, exemplified by the recent Muslim ban. Immigration laws have been used to uphold structural racism and cis heteronormativity, and have restricted formal channels of migration to people with limited financial resources. For far too long, race, class, and gender have been used to perpetuate the practices of exploitation through immigration laws, and we denounce that these conditions are all undeniably connected to the global imposition of the interests and will of the billionaire classes.

It is no secret that Donald J. Trump ran a campaign fueled by racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic messages, but what has been largely obscured is the reality that his message relied on old tactics to use communities of color as scapegoats to blame for all of the problems this country faces. In his inaugural speech he painted powerful images about the uncertainties faced by this country’s working-class and working-poor communities; as he named these uncertainties, he denounced terrorism and immigration as the targets to be fought. This is a time-tested divide and conquer tactic that keeps the country’s working-class and working-poor white communities from recognizing the struggles they share with their people of color and non-white immigrant counterparts. While he lamented at the visions of “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation,” as of July of this year, his administration has proved to be notoriously anti-union and has produced the fewest net new jobs this country has seen in the last seven years (L.A. Times, July 3 2017). As he claimed to worry about “an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge,” he nominated affluent socialite Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education, a nominee with a record of favoring the privatization of K-12 education; this privatization has often failed to serve all students, particularly those coming from working-class backgrounds. In addition, there have been efforts to cut federal grants and programs in higher education that have historically promoted the social upward mobility for working class/POC. Trump’s false commitment to promoting “all knowledge” is best exemplified by his practice of calling lies “alternative facts.” The alternative fact here is that President Trump is committed to improving the conditions for the most vulnerable communities in this country; he is certainly not committed to any actions that close the racial and class gaps that threaten young and old Americans across our nation. From threats to repeal the Affordable Care Act to attempts to dismantle unions and workers’ benefits, we know Trump only stands on his own side.

Moving forward, we are guided by the visions of hope that many of us learned from our parents. We are most grateful for their courage in bringing us to this country in search of opportunities for a better life; we thank them, and honor their sacrifices, as we move forward with their unapologetic desire to offer us a life of dignity and prosperity. We are fueled by a desire to offer our parents a safe and peaceful retirement in their advanced years, and to care for them as they cared for us when we were too little to care for ourselves.

We are thankful to our elders in the movement, to all those who stood up and followed their call to grace and have inherited us stories, lessons, and resilience. We are grateful to stand on the shoulders of freedom fighters and generations of survivors who learned how to pave the way when there was none, and who crafted the path with all the tools they had – often times risking their own lives.

If you are somehow affected by the immigration system, we invite you to join us; you are the only judge on when and how to show up when the time is right for you, send us a message, there are many ways to get involved. One thing we need to say, silence won’t protect us. And while we know you are hurt and the weight on our shoulders feels great and unbearable, know that you are not alone, and that our organization will continue to build power for immigration and education justice having all of us and our families at the center of our work. 

If you are not but you have been moved to action, we ask to stand up in solidarity by following the next steps and signing up to our actions here. We know our struggle is not new, but it is also far from being over. At the end of the day we are not only fighting for DACA and the dignity and respect for all immigrants; we will also continue to organize, mobilize, and disrupt with our allies who, like us, are looking to secure humane and dignified living conditions for ourselves and our children under a transformed economy that works for all of us, not only a few.

In solidarity and justice,

Emilia Gonzalez Avalos

Executive Director

Navigate MN

***Prepared in partnership with Idalia Robes de Leon.

Press Conference regarding DACA decision

Español abajo
The White House announced today that their official position today is that DACA decision is still under review.
NAVIGATE & allies will host a Press Conference an hour after an official White House announcement (WH Press Sec. said Tuesday, other officials said by Monday; nothing confirmed) at El Colegio High School.
We will share more when we have specific information.
La Casa Blanca anunció hoy que su posición oficial hoy es que la decisión de DACA todavía está bajo revisión.
NAVIGATE & allies acogerá una conferencia de prensa una hora después de un anuncio oficial de la Casa Blanca (esperado segun a oficiales a mas tardar el Lunes, y la Sec. de Media dijo que el martes pero no confirmado) en la Escuela Secundaria El Colegio.
Compartiremos más cuando tengamos información específica.

Here are some of the stories we are following:
Things to keep in mind:
1) If you are traveling abroad on advance parole with your DACA, come back as soon as possible! We don’t know if people outside the U.S. with advance parole will be allowed to return to the U.S. once an announcement terminating the program is made.
2) If you were thinking of applying for initial and renewal we recommend not submitting your application. The program can end before your application is processed and you may lose your $495 fee.
3) In Minnesota, the MN Dream Act remains intact. Some provisions that provide benefits over working requirements may be affected (work study) but overall, the program remains intact.

Other Resources:

Take action:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is under grave threat. Trump has left young immigrants in the dark about the future of a program that has let them pursue education, build careers, and start families. Act now to tell our elected officials to save DACA! http://www.congressweb.com/ILCM/33

Weekly Update – 4/13/17

Trump Plan Would Curtail Protections for Detained Immigrants

For the past 15 years there have been protective requirements for jails that hold immigrants facing deportations such as notifying immigration officials if a detainee spends 2 or more weeks in solitary confinement, however, with the Trump administration looking for jail space for its crackdown on illegal immigration, these rules and protections are in danger. The incentive to eliminate these rules and regulations is to entice more sheriffs and local officials to make their correctional facilities available.

Dreamers Aren’t About to Self-Deport

The program that offers modest college scholarships to undocumented students who want to achieve higher education – “Dreamers” – saw a 40% increase in applications. The program was expecting a chilling effect with all of the recent anti-immigration policies – however, these “Dreamers” proved that they will not self-deport.

Hunger Strike at Tacoma Immigration Detention Center Growing, Activist Says

Maru Mora Villalpando, left, organizer of the encampment, talks with supporters Nestora Salgado and Eva Chavez Thursday, April 13, as the hunger strike continues inside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Maru Mora Villalpando, left, organizer of the encampment, talks with supporters Nestora Salgado and Eva Chavez Thursday, April 13, as the hunger strike continues inside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

An anti-detention group spokeswoman says that as many as 750 detainees at the privately run Northwest Detention Center are refusing meals as the strike entered its third day Thursday, April 13. There is currently so sign of ending despite ongoing negotiations between detainees, ICE, and the prison contractor that operates the facility. The detainees are protesting the quality of food, facility hygiene, access to medical care, lack of recreation, and unreasonably high commissary prices. There is also a group of protestors who are staying in a makeshift tent outside the detention center who also say they want to eliminate immigration detention.

Minnesota High School Senior Gets Into All 8 Ivy League Schools

Derek Onserio

Derek Onserio

Derek Onserio, a senior at Providence Academy in Plymouth was accepted to eighty Ivy League schools. Onserio is the son of Kenyan immigrants and wants to start a nonprofit to help at-risk children, saying “Education is the way out.”

U.S. Hits ISIS Target with Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb Ever Used

According to U.S. Pentagon officials, U.S. forces in Afghanistan struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with the “mother of all bombs” – the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military. The Pentagon said it had no early estimate of deaths or damage caused.

Weekly Update – 4/4/17

What is Equal Pay Day? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 4 and is held to symbolize how far into the year women need to work to make what med did the previous year. It is always on Tuesday to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week. On average, women make 77 cents for every dollar that men earn, and women of color make even less.

Minneapolis and St. Paul Mayor Races Starting to Heat Up

Click here for information about St. Paul candidates.

Click here for information about Minneapolis candidates.

DFL ward caucuses are starting in late April and there are numerous forums scheduled for both Minneapolis and St. Paul mayoral candidates.

California Today: Defying Trump With Sanctuary Bill

Kevin de Leon, the leader of the State Senate, said legislation to turn California into a so-called sanctuary state would enhance public safety.

Kevin de Leon, the leader of the State Senate, said legislation to turn California into a so-called sanctuary state would enhance public safety.

California’s State Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation on Monday, April 3 that essentially turns California into a so-called “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants. The legislation prohibits any state or local law enforcement agency from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest people for immigration violations. The bill was amended after fierce criticism from the CA State Sheriff’s Association to allow local law enforcement officials to notify ICE of the release date of serious and violent felons. The bill will now move to the Assembly.

Amid Challenges, Rep. Ilhan Omar Find Success as First-Year Lawmaker

Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke on Friday, March 24 at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke on Friday, March 24 at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Omar – the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature – has had a successful and busy first few months. She has introduced  23 bills in her first few months at the Capitol and has found common ground with lawmakers of both parties. She also sits on three House committees – higher education policy and finance, state government finance and civil law and data practices.


Click on the headlines to read full articles.

By: Alex Bollman

Weekly News Update – 3/20/17

U.S. Limits Devices for Passengers on Foreign Airlines From Eight Countries

Under a new flight restriction enacted Tuesday, March 21 by the Trump administration, passengers on foreign airlines from 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries that are headed to the United States have been barred from carrying electronic devices larger than a cellphone. The ban reflects a new consensus among American intelligence agencies that terrorist groups are increasingly trying to find ways to smuggle explosive devices hidden in electronic devices. Hours after the American action, the British government announced its own ban on electronic devices on flights.

Miami Republican Files New DREAM Act in Congress

Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo refiled legislation that would allow people brought illegally as children to remain in the country. The “Recognizing America’s Children Act” would offer an eventual path to U.S. citizenship to immigrants who entered illegally before Jan. 1, 2012, and were 16 years old or younger. The bill would initially grant high school graduates without a serious criminal record and who do not rely on public assistance, conditional immigration status. Then, if, over a five-year period, the person earns a higher-education degree, serves in the military or stays employed,  they could apply for permanent residency and, eventually citizenship


Delano Kicks Off Anti-Racism Campaign with Candlelight Vigil

A portion of the more than 1000 people who attended the vigil in Delano Sunday night as they held their candles aloft.

A portion of the more than 1000 people who attended the vigil in Delano Sunday night as they held their candles aloft.

People attending the vigil were encouraged to sign a poster with messages of support for the family whose home was vandalized with racist graffiti last week.

After a local black family’s house was broken into and spray-painted with racial slurs last week, more than 1000 residents of the city of Delano, MN and surrounding areas came together for a candlelight gathering over the weekend.Their message was that the community will not tolerate hate and that the community needs to unify everyone together.

Restaurants Band Together to Support Minnesota’s Immigrant Community

Common Roots Cafe was just one of the many businesses that participated in Restaurants Rising.

Common Roots Cafe was just one of the many businesses that participated in Restaurants Rising.

Last week on Wednesday, March 15, dozens of restaurants around the Twin Cities participated in “Restaurants Rising,” a fundraising effort by activism group Small Businesses United, during which these restaurants donated from 10 to 50 percent of their sales to the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. “With so many people in our community threatened by the divisive and discriminatory stance the new Trump administration has taken on immigration, many of us are looking for ways to stand up in support of Minnesota’s immigrant community,” said Danny Schwartzman, owner of Common Roots Cafe. 

Click on headlines above to read full articles.

By: Alex Bollman

News Update – Week of 3/6

Trump’s New Travel Ban Blocks Migrants from Six Nations, Sparing Iraq

Trump signed a new executive order on Monday blocking citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries () from entering the United States. The new order continued to impose a 90-day ban on travelers but removed Iraq. Among other things, the new order also reversed an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria, replacing it with a 120-day freeze that requires review and renewal. Even though this is a new order, the heart of the executive action is still essentially the same.

U.S. Frees Visa-Holding Afghan Family It Detained for 4 Days

Five members of an Afghan family with special immigrant visas were finally released on Monday after more than four days in detention and are now allowed to travel to the Washington town where they intend to settle. This family was stopped by Border Patrol despite that they had completed extensive betting to receive their visas.

Senate Rejects Real ID Measure Over Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants


The Senate floor gallery was full for the Real ID Bill vote on Monday.

The Senate floor gallery was full for the Real ID Bill vote on Monday.

The MN Senate voted down the Real ID Bill on Monday in a 38-29 vote. The Bill was meant to put the state in compliance with federal driver’s license standards, however, debate continues over whether the Department of Public Safety should be allowed to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants. Sen. Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina said the bill was supposed to be about complying with federal law but became about restricting individuals in our state.

Dayton Wants Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

This article was written before the MN Senate rejected the Real ID Bill, however, it is important to note that Governor Mark Dayton is all for enabling undocumented immigrants to get Minnesota’s driver’s licenses and wants the Real ID Bill to help make that happen.

REMINDER: March 8th – A Day Without A Woman

Wednesday, March 8th is International Women’s Day to celebrate, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

International Women's DayThere is also a general strike planned, comprised of three main components listed below, with the intent being to show solidarity and how reliant the economy is on women workers at every level.

Women's Day

Click on the headlines above to read the full articles.

By: Alex Bollman