Bill hopes to ease immigrant integration into communities
St. Paul, Minn.— Last week, Senator Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Minneapolis) successfully ushered a bill through Senate committees that would establish an immigration integration task force. The group would be tasked with conducting research and holding meetings to identify state laws and rules that negatively affect Minnesotans who have immigrated to the state. Once identified, members of the task force would develop methods to ensure that future proposed state laws and rules considered their effect on immigrants.
“If we’re going to talk seriously about addressing the achievement gaps faced by immigrants and communities of color, we need to know how our own government can sometimes get in the way of their success,” said Sen. Torres Ray. “The task force would be a bipartisan, highly representative group of legislators and community leaders, and would be well-positioned to point out problematic laws that hinder the economic growth and integration of new Minnesotans and Americans.
In order to remain viable for this session, the bill must have received a committee hearing in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives within the week. “I’m hopeful that the House gives this bill the attention it deserves,” said Sen. Torres Ray. “We can all agree that the thousands of immigrant families already in Minnesota face barriers that are unacceptable for any family. Taking this first step is the least we can do for some of our newest Minnesotans.”