Minneapolis works to build trust with immigrant communities

The City of Minneapolis is working on building trust between police and communities with a high immigrant population. 

Many undocumented immigrants live in fear of being deported and are often afraid of interacting with police. 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo met with the community to discuss how they can work together to improve public safety in immigrant communities. 

“We have folks in our community who have suffered from historical trauma and current day trauma,” Arradondo said. 

The discussion addressed the fears undocumented immigrants might have. It also addressed the fact that there is a lack of trust in police and that many crimes go unreported in immigrant communities. 

According to the American Immigration Council, foreign-born residents account for over eight percent of Minnesota’s population. 

A survey by Minnesota Compass shows that while immigrants are transforming many smaller communities, 79 percent of the state’s foreign-born residents live in the Twin Cities. Some of the largest groups that have immigrated to the Twin Cities are from Mexico, India, Laos and Somalia. 

“I want people of any status, undocumented or otherwise, to feel comfortable and confident working with our police department,” Frey said. “We want them to know that Minneapolis is on their side.” 

The city said that it is working on a number of plans to address immigration, including developing some form of municipal identification and bringing on “community navigators” to help bridge the gap between police and immigrants.