The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
In 2018, the City of Minneapolis established The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) with the goal of ensuring that Minneapolis is a safe and welcoming place for all. The OIRA office is housed within the Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations, and supports our One Minneapolis goal to “eliminate disparities so that all Minneapolis can participate and prosper." As NCR, OIRA will work with existing cultural engagement staff. Learn about how NCR engages the many cultural communities of Minneapolis.
OIRA's principal responsibilities are to:
The Office will take a proactive, coordinated, enterprise-wide approach to accomplish the following:
Responsibilities of the Office include:
Meet Director Michelle Rivero
Michelle Rivero is the Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, housed within the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. Michelle has been an immigration attorney for the last 18 years. Her work has included representing clients in immigration court proceedings (detained and nondetained), asylum applicants, crime victims seeking U visas, VAWA applicants (victims of domestic violence), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, applicants for US citizenship, as well as individuals petitioning for family members to come to or remain in the United States.
Before beginning to work for the City, Michelle dedicated a significant component of her private practice to providing pro bono legal services, and has represented Central American families detained in Artesia, New Mexico in 2014, asylum seekers through Minneapolis based Advocates for Human Rights, and detained immigrants through the Minnesota Detention Project. She has also held positions within the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, including leading the chapter’s advocacy committee, asylum office and immigration court liaison efforts. She has also co-authored editorials on the subject of immigration in local news publications.
Community Engagement and Research
The Office has already begun a community engagement process, interviewing stakeholders and convening community round tables to build awareness and inform the work of the office. The information we gather as we continue this process will be used to finalize our scope of work. So far, NCR has engaged the community through:
East African Community Specialist Abdirashid hosting his Somali-language radio show.
- Conversations with the three funded community partners (Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, the Advocates for Human Rights and the Volunteer Lawyers Network).
- Workshops at the Community Connections Conference, an annual free event with 600-700 participants.
What we heard from you:
Through the community engagement that NCR has carried out so far, we asked you what the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs should focus on. These themes have emerged in the conversation.
|• Policy||• Communications||• Economic advancement|
|• Strategy||• Promotion of values||• Citizenship|
|• Advocacy||• Cultural work and healing||• Housing|
Last updated Aug 17, 2018