MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three weeks before the election, Minnesota Republicans are warning that dangerous criminals will come to the state if Democrats win the election.

It is part of a TV ad campaign from an outside group called Freedom Club, linking Democrats to illegal immigration and sanctuary cites.

In one ad, a woman in her kitchen shows frustration and trepidation about the Democrats running for governor and attorney general.

“But I’m scared about what Tim Walz and Keith Ellison want to do with our state,” she said.

Here is the ad text, in full:

I love raising my family in Minnesota. But I am scared about what Tim Walz and Keith Ellison want to do with our state. Keith Ellison, who wants to be attorney general, but he’s promoting open borders, abolishing ICE and even defended cop killers. Tim Walz, who wants to be governor, oh, he’s just as bad! He pledged to prevent Minnesota law enforcement from even enforcing immigration laws — making us a sanctuary state! We must protect Minnesota. We must protect our families.

(credit: Freedom Club)

A second ad warns that families may be in danger if Democrats win.

“But if DFL politicians like Keith Ellison and Tim Walz make Minnesota a sanctuary state, we lose our family security,” said a man flipping burgers on a grill.

Here is the text of the ad, in full:

If it’s game day, Minnesota wants two things: We win, they lose. We want big wins on Election Day, too. But if DFL politicians like Keith Ellison and Tim Walz make Minnesota a sanctuary state, we lose our family security. And violent criminals will be released into our communities. That’s a loss for you, me and Minnesota. Becoming a sanctuary state for criminals? That’s a big loss for all of us.”

Minnesota Republicans are embracing fear of illegal immigration as a potent final mid-term message.

It is TRUE that Democrats Tim Walz and Keith Ellison support sanctuary state laws for Minnesota.

It is NOT TRUE it means violent criminals roaming free.

But there are complications.

Eight states have laws limiting cooperation by local police with federal ICE agents to find and deport undocumented immigrants:

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Illinois
  • Oregon
  • California
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado

State laws vary, but in general, sanctuary laws DO NOT:

  • Ban all federal access to jails
  • Stop deportation proceedings for serious crimes
  • Stop ICE raids

Sanctuary laws DO:

  • Restrict law enforcement from reporting immigration status
  • Stop jails from telling ICE when an undocumented prisoner will be released
  • Prevent deportations over minor crimes

Polling shows many Americans believe immigrants are disproportionately responsible for crime, but it’s not true.

Decades of studies show the opposite.

It’s not true immigrants are more dangerous.

Decades of studies show the opposite, including in Minnesota.

A 2017 Governing study found unauthorized immigrant populations are not correlated with higher crime, including in the Minneapolis – St Paul area.

Last year, 85,000 unauthorized immigrants in Minnesota’s Twin Cities metro area had a violent crime rate of 273.6 per 100,000 people.

Far below the national average.

And a Pew report found lower crime rates as overall immigrant populations increase.

Since 1980, the immigrant population is up 232 percent.

Violent crime is down 92 percent.

Nevertheless, making Minnesota a sanctuary state would be a major policy change, but claiming Minnesota would be “a sanctuary state for criminals”?

Becoming a sanctuary state for criminals? That’s a political exaggeration.

Here Are Some Of The Sources We Used For This Reality Check:

Freedom Club Ad

Freedom Club State PAC Ad

Sanctuary States

United Nations International Migration Report

Crime Effects Of Undocumented Immigrants

‘Sanctuary Cities’ Are Working in the Trump Era, But at a Surprising Cost

Immigration Polls


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Pat Kessler