Over the past two weeks, we've been reflecting on our communities and our country, and where we go from here.There is still so much uncertainty, but if we take President-elect Trump at his word and his immigration adviser at his strategy memos, then we know that we're in for the fight of our lives.
We also know that we're ready. For the past decade, we've defended the rights of immigrants in one of America's most hostile climates. We've defeated more than 150 anti-immigrant bills at the state legislature and organized communities to stop deportations and to end the disastrous 287(g) deportation programs in Nashville and Knoxville. While playing defense, we've built real political power and organizations for directly-affected communities to participate in our democracy and shape our collective future.
With your support, we will scale up our work to:
1. Stop harmful policies from passing at the local, state, and federal levels. No Muslim registry. No more criminalizing immigrants. No more separating families. No turning our back on refugees.
2. Protect communities against deportations and defend DACA.
3. Engage U.S. born Tennesseans to build communities where all people are welcomed and valued.
Will you invest today so that we can be the strongest we've ever been?
We can't do it without you.
"Hello, I have a question. I want to know how to prepare in case the deportations start. I have three little girls, and I don’t know if it’s a good idea to go ahead and get a notarized letter that would allow someone who is legally in the country to bring my citizen children to me after I get deported to Mexico. What I can do? I am desperate."
We received this message on Wednesday, the day after Donald Trump was elected president. It’s one of hundreds of questions we’ve received as immigrants and refugees process what the election means for the future and what it says about our country. Our hearts are broken for the thousands of Tennesseans who are living with such a deep sense of fear and uncertainty right now.
Hate, bigotry, and fear are nothing new for our members. Immigrants and refugees in the South have been on the front lines of combatting Islamophobia and countering some of the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant policies for many years. Immigrant families are resilient and here to stay. Fighting for the rights and dignity of immigrant communities has never been easy; we have always known the struggle would be long. But now, after this election, our fight is much different. So much more is required of us and this work is more important than ever.
We are in for the fight of our lives. We’ll harness the grief and outrage we feel this week – and the resilience and courage of immigrant and refugee families – to defend and protect communities, to challenge dangerous policy proposals, and to work fearlessly to build a different America.
We will need you. We need you to invest in our work to organize immigrant and refugee communities in this critical moment. Please make a donation today. Moving forward, we’ll need you to take bold and transformative action with us to create communities where all people feel safe, welcomed, and valued – no matter where they are from or how they worship. Each of us will have a role to play – this movement and moment needs all of us now.
Please take a moment to pledge that you'll stand with immigrants and refugees in the weeks, months, and years to come. Join us in renewing your commitment to a bold vision of justice and inclusion. And we hope that you’ll bring your friends. Please ask your friends and loved ones who are looking for a way to stand with immigrant and refugee communities to join us and sign up, too.