There's no other way to say it: we're bracing for the worst.
The President-elect won the November election on an unapologetically anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim platform. As we get ready for dangerous federal proposals, we also have much to do at the state and local level.
The Tennessee General Assembly is preparing to file a lawsuit against the federal government to end the refugee resettlement program. Local officials, like the city commission in Mt. Juliet, are passing unwelcoming resolutions and discriminating against residents based on their real or perceived immigraiton status.
In the months and years -- specifically, four years -- ahead, we need to be the strongest and boldest we've ever been. Immigrants and refugees across Tennessee are counting on TIRRC. And we're counting on you.
We've got a plan to building a more just, welcoming, and inclusive Tennessee, but we need your investment to make it happen. With your financial support we can:
- Provide critical services to families at risk of separation adn protect communities from mass deportations. We need to organize immigrants and allies across the state to stop deportations. We'll also scale up community education so that all immigrants know their rights when encountering law enforcement and develop resources to help communitiies prepare for and mitigate the disastrous impacts of family separation.
- Defend DACA. More than 8,000 Tennesseans currently have DACA. During his campaign, President-elect Trump threatened to end the program, and he could do so with the stroke of a pen. We'll use every strategy and tool we have to defend DACA.
- Advance local policy to protect immigrants and expand opportunity. Cities and countries will be the front line of defending immigrants from deportation and turning the tide. We'll advance local policies across the state to ensure that public institutions and cities are safe and welcoming. And we've already started! Earlier this month, we worked with the Nashville School Board to pass a resolution to strengthen and clarify policies that keep ICE out of public schools. See the Tennessean's story: "Nashville school board resolution seeks protections for immigrant students."
- Stop harmful policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Whether the legislative threats come from Congress, the Tennessee General Assembly, or local governments, we are ready to play defense. We'll fight to stop Trump's promises of Muslim registries, cuts to critical programs and services, and the scaling up of policing and immigrant enforcement and counter local politicians emboldened by his rhetoric.
- Defend refugee resettlement. In the midst of a globlal refugee crisis, the lifesaving refugee resettlement program is at risk. President-elect Trump has discussed shrinking or ending the program. We'll work with refugees and resettlement agencies to tell their stories, build public support for refugees, and counter efforts to turn our backs on those fleeing violence and persecution.
- Build political power for immigrants and refugees. Immigrants and refugees will be a leading force in helping to defend and transform our democracy. Through organizing communities, helping eligible immigrants apply for citizenship, and registering voters, we'll continue building power to effect change at the local, state, and national level.
- Engage U.S. born Tennesseans in building communities where all are welcomed. After a historically divisive election, our Welcoming Tennessee Initiative is more important than ever. We'll grow our efforts to help U.S. born Tennesseans process and understand demographic shifts, and shape a more positive public narrative about immigration.
We're so grateful for your support of our work and hope you'll consider making a contribution in this critical moment.