Today, Governor Bill Haslam allowed one of the country’s most extreme, anti-immigrant bills to become law. HB 2315 prohibits common-sense local policies that promote community trust and public safety, makes Tennessee a dangerous place for immigrant families, and cements our reputation as one of the most hostile and unwelcoming states in the nation.
When HB 2315 landed on his desk, the Governor was presented with a clear choice. He could have heeded the warnings from police chiefs, educators, domestic violence victims’ advocates, and legal experts and stopped this dangerous and misguided bill from becoming law. Instead he caved to the most extreme fringe of the electorate.
When history looks back at the steady march of Tennessee towards becoming a hostile and dangerous place for immigrant families, at the rising tide of nativism and xenophobia, and at the immoral attacks on immigrants in this country, Governor Haslam will see himself on the wrong side.
But the passage of HB 2315 has galvanized a powerful movement of immigrant families and their allies. Thousands of Tennesseans have joined us in calling for a new path forward for our state that will demand that our elected officials uphold our values and defend all of our communities. Our movement is growing and it's needed now more than ever.
We will organize immigrant families and their supporters to defend their communities and to overturn this dangerous and unjust law. We won't stop fighting for justice for immigrant families in the courts, in the streets, at the ballot box, and in the legislature.
From their silence in the face of the devastating Morristown raid to their callous passage of such a dangerous bill, it is clear that lawmakers don’t see immigrants as Tennesseans.
But immigrant families are here to stay and here to fight. We will keep organizing our communities and supporters across the state to ensure that the legislature and policies reflect the needs and values of all Tennesseans, not the fears and worst instincts of the most extreme fringe of the electorate. Will you join us?
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