Frequently Asked Questions

Safety, Trust And Respect, which are core Minnesota Values.

The purpose of the North STAR Act is to promote the health, safety and well-being of all Minnesotans. It does this by ensuring that state and local resources are not redirected for civil
immigration enforcement, so that all Minnesotans can access the services they deserve without fear of detention and deportation.

The bill has three main provisions. It:

  • Prohibits state and local government agencies from cooperating with immigration officials for civil immigration enforcement.
  • Clarifies what immigration data can be collected by state and local government agencies and the circumstances in which such data can be shared with immigration agencies.
  • Restricts the use of county and local jails as immigration detention centers.

No, the Constitution makes clear that the federal government cannot force the state to be involved in immigration enforcement.

No, certain types of cooperation are mandated by federal law. The bill does not prevent that cooperation, nor does it prevent cooperation for criminal law enforcement.

No, the language in the bill ensures that it does not interfere with state or federal criminal enforcement.

No, the bill only prevents sharing for immigration enforcement and not anything else. The bill makes clear that the prohibitions don’t apply to criminal investigation or criminal agencies.

No, the bill does not affect criminal law enforcement.

No, extensive research has shown that immigrants are more law-abiding than native-born citizens. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouses (TRAC) at Syracuse
University, only 30% to 40% of detainees are detained for any sort of criminal activity, and a large number of those are for minor offenses like traffic stops. Moreover, according to ICE
data, only about 0.35% of deportees are scheduled to be deported for serious criminal activity. By comparison, about 1.7% of all Minnesota residents are currently either incarcerated or on probation. Source

Because immigrants, whatever their immigration status, will know that the police cannot question them about their status, this bill will bolster trust between local law enforcement and
immigrant communities. This will improve public safety by increasing the likelihood that immigrants would report crimes or being the victim of a crime. For more information, watch
the video here.

No. In two lawsuits, one involving San Francisco and the other Chicago, two separate federal appellate courts have ruled that the federal government cannot withhold funding to coerce or to enforce immigration enforcement based on the 10th Amendment.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington State have passed similar bills.

The states that have passed similar bills did not experience an increase in immigrants as a result of these bills. The recent increase in immigrant arrivals in Minnesota is a result of other factors (larger numbers at the southern border and related political ploys), and this bill won’t change that.

We don’t know what Texas might do, but we do know that we should not let other states determine the legislation we choose to pass. Just as we did not let Texas dictate our laws
regarding abortion, we should not let Texas dictate our treatment of immigration.

No. There would be some short-term costs, but there would be big long-term benefits, including an increased labor force with a higher percentage of the population working, increased
economic output, and a broader tax base.

It seems reasonable that utilizing local and state law enforcement to carry out immigration enforcement does cost state and local governments money. There are costs associated with: the increase in the number of arrests, checking and reporting immigration status in schools and healthcare facilities, and defending against law suits. See this cost calculator created by the American Immigration Council to learn more.

We will all be safer and healthier because when immigrants trust that interactions with police or healthcare providers will not result in arrest or detention, they are more willing to cooperate with law enforcement and healthcare officials. And we will all reap the benefits of a more robust state economy.

We will all be safer because immigrants who trust that they are safe interacting with law enforcement will be more willing to report, or intervene to prevent a crime. To paraphrase
Governor Walz, If my immigrant neighbor sees someone breaking into my house while I’m on vacation, I want them to call the police.

When immigrants can trust that healthcare providers will not share information with immigration enforcement agencies, they will be more willing to access health services. This is especially important for all of us during a public health crisis such as COVID 19. In addition,when people are able to access health services early rather than rely on emergency services, we all benefit from lower healthcare costs.

We know that immigrants benefit Minnesota’s economy. In 2018, they contributed $22.4 billion to the state Gross Domestic Product (GDP), spent over $12.4 billion, and paid $1.5
billion in state and local taxes. This bill will encourage more immigrants to seek employment and help stabilize our workforce, because employees will be less likely to be deported.
Each immigrant worker lost to detention reduces those numbers. Each new immigrant worker adds to them. Without immigrants, we would be losing population, and since immigrants are generally of working age, there would be fewer workers to support our aging citizen population. States that have passed similar laws have seen their economies grow.

It’s the right thing to do. This bill recognizes that immigrants deserve the same respect as the rest of us. The bill won’t prevent ICE enforcement, but, based on results from states with similar bills, it will reduce the number of people deported from Minnesota. This will keep families together, keeping children with their parents and reducing the need for social services.

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