Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) Asylum Network
The MSP Asylum Network, launched in April 2016, exists to connect and collaborate for the greater benefit of asylum seekers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The catalyst for the network was asylum seeker research conducted by International Association for Refugees in 2015.
In 2017, the United States received more refugees as asylum seekers (331,700*) than it did through its refugee resettlement program (33,400*). An estimated 1,500 people are currently seeking asylum (i.e. refugee status) in Minnesota. Asylum seekers do not receive any support services upon their arrival to the country. Although lawfully present here, they are initially barred from employment and are ineligible for any government assistance. They are among the most vulnerable people in society.
The MSP Asylum Network is made up of organizations and individuals that provide services for and/or engage with asylum seekers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Collaborative efforts of the network address such issues as basic needs (food, clothing, transportation, housing), medical care, legal representation, housing and mental health resources. In 2017, the network launched a process by which faith community groups and concerned citizen groups can be matched with asylum seekers in supportive partnering relationships.
Who can join?

Any organization, faith community, or individual interested in helping, partnering, or learning about the process of seeking asylum in hopes of helping clients - ALL ARE WELCOME! We especially desire the participation of asylees and asylum seekers who can provide their real-life experiences.
When/where do we meet?

A quarterly sack lunch meeting is held in January, April, July and October. Location varies, but information about an upcoming meeting will be provided prior to the date. Contact Social Work interns (socialwork@advrights.org) to be added to the invitation list.
*UNCHR Global Trends 2017