PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate Release: May 30, 2019Contact: Hamp Price | firstname.lastname@example.org | 256-749-6420
TIRRC Releases Immigration Policy Blueprint for the Next Metro GovernmentImmigrant rights group calls for city to move ‘Beyond Welcoming’
Nashville, TN - Today, the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) released a twenty-page policy platform for the next government of Nashville that they’re calling a roadmap for how elected officials can protect and invest in the city’s quickly growing immigrant population.
The group surveyed more than 5,000 immigrants and refugees and partnered with forty community and organizational partners to craft the policy recommendations that span nine issue areas.
“As the state and federal government attack immigrant and refugee communities, many Nashvillians have asked what the city can do. In the Beyond Welcoming platform, the city’s immigrant and refugee community is putting forth bold, visionary answers,” said TIRRC Policy Director Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus. “The August 1st election is the first major metro election of the Trump era and an opportunity for candidates and elected officials to set a new vision of what it means to belong in our communities. No matter who is elected, this platform provides a roadmap for our next government to protect and invest in immigrant families.”
While deportation defense is a main focus of the platform, including policies to disentangle local government from the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and establishing a legal defense fund, proposed policies also aim to improve healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
“For years, Nashville has celebrated our reputation as a welcoming city, but this platform is a recognition that our elected leaders must do more, especially in this moment, to live up to those values,” said TIRRC Co-Executive Director Stephanie Teatro. “Already more than one in 10 Nashvillians is foreign-born; being truly welcoming is not just a cherished value for our city but a public policy imperative. The policies outlined in our platform are both an immediate response to our current political moment and a long-term investment in our collective future and shared prosperity as a city.”
Starting this week, the group is offering trainings on the policy platform to all candidates running for metro government. Over the coming weeks, TIRRC has scheduled a number of community engagements to educate city residents on the policy priorities, where community members can sign on to endorse the platform. For more information on Nashville’s immigrant and refugee population and to read the full platform, visit www.tnimmigrant.org/beyondwelcoming.
TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state. Since its founding in 2001, TIRRC has worked to develop immigrant leadership, build the capacity of its immigrant-led member organizations, help immigrant community members understand and engage in the civic process, and educate the public about policies that would better promote integration of new immigrants and facilitate their full participation in US society. In just a few years TIRRC has grown from a grassroots network of community leaders into one of the most diverse and effective coalitions of its kind, a model for emerging immigrant rights organizations in the Southeast and throughout the United States.