PRESS STATEMENT Wednesday, January 25, 2017Contact: Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus | Lisa@tnimmigrant.org
NASHVILLE – Today, the President announced two executive orders on immigration, ramping up militarization and detention on the border, as well as scaling up deportations and immigration enforcement across the country. These come in advance of orders the President is expected to issue tomorrow that will suspend refugee resettlement, and effectively create a ban on Muslim migration to the United States.
The following is a statement from Stephanie Teatro, Co-Executive Director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition:
“After less than a week in office, the President has issued extreme orders that fundamentally challenge who we are as a nation. Today's executive orders and those we are expecting tomorrow to ban Muslim migration and suspend refugee resettlement amount to a closing of our doors as a nation, a denial of the founding principles of this country and the promises inscribed on our Statue of Liberty.
Today the president has made clear that he is committed to turning his bigoted campaign rhetoric into bigoted policy. We fear today's announcement is only the first of many steps the president will take that will discriminate against people based on where they are from or how they worship. All Tennesseans must join together to mount a defense against these attacks on our core American values.
In addition to shutting down our borders and turning our backs on those who are seeking safety here, the President announced he would immediately begin his campaign to criminalize and terrorize communities who already call Tennessee home by creating the deportation force he promised. But, the president's orders also make clear that he'll depend on local communities to fulfill his campaign promises of mass deportations. He wants to bring back the failed Secure Communities program that was terminated in 2014 after losing the support of local law enforcement across the country who recognized it violated community trust. The President is also threatening to punish cities who refuse to be part of his deportation machine.
We cannot let the president jeopardize who we are as a country. We can't turn our back on those seeking safe refuge. We can't stand for mass deportations that will terrorize communities and separate millions of families.
Since the election, we have been organizing immigrants, refugees, and their allies to stand up to actions like today. We're ready to defend our communities and our American values."
# # #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.