After less than a week in office, the president has issued extreme orders that make clear his commitment to turn his bigoted campaign rhetoric into bigoted policy.
The executive orders essentially declare that the 120,000 undocumented immigrants in Tennessee - our neighbors, friends, families, coworkers - will live in fear of immigration enforcement agents. But to carry out his plan, the president is counting on our local governments to collaborate and participate in mass deportations.
Read more about the orders in our explainer here.
We cannot let the president jeopardize who we are as a country. We cannot turn our backs on those seeking safe refuge. We cannot stand for mass deportations that will terrorize communities and separate millions of families. We need communities of trust.
Do you want to help make sure that your community remains a safe place for all people? Sign the petition and join our campaign to create communities of trust across Tennessee.
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Restore trust in our communities
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To Tennessee city and county mayors and local government agencies,
President Trump’s shameful and extreme executive orders on immigration and refugee policy betray our American values and undermine our founding principles. We are not a nation that closes our doors and turns our back on people fleeing violence or seeking opportunity.
In his executive order "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," the President outlines his plans to implement the mass deportations that he promised during his campaign. The President wants to increase the number of immigration enforcement agents—creating a deportation force—that will target all undocumented members of our community. The President also made clear that he will depend on local law enforcement and local governments to carry out these mass deportations, blurring the line between federal immigration enforcement and local governments. This undermines community trust in our public institutions and jeopardizes community safety.
While immigration and refugee resettlement are fundamentally federal policies, we know the impacts of these executive orders will be felt most strongly in our local communities. Our entire community will feel the effects when our co-workers, parents, neighbors, and friends are deported. Our entire community is less safe when immigrants are too scared to report a crime or testify in court because a minor interaction with law enforcement could lead to deportations. Our entire community will suffer if parents are too scared to send their children to school.
We need to create communities of trust and safety. We urge our local leaders to take immediate steps to adopt, strengthen, and clarify policies that make clear our local agencies and local tax dollars will not be used to carry out the President’s mass deportation agenda. We need to make sure that all residents have trust that going to our schools, hospitals, courts, jails, and other government institutions will not be a direct pipeline to deportations.
The President’s executive actions have sent a wave of fear through immigrant communities. We pledge to create community-based safe zones for our undocumented neighbors and we urge our local elected officials and institutions to take steps to clearly separate local government agencies and services and federal immigration enforcement. We know that local communities work best when everyone is able to participate and contribute, so we must take proactive steps to restore trust and counter the climate of fear created by these executive orders.
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