FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 5, 2019CONTACT: Hamp Price, firstname.lastname@example.org, 256-749-6420
In response to the recent string of gun violence across the nation, the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) released the following statement:
We join the nation in mourning the lives lost in the string of mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. These hate-filled acts of violence have sent shockwaves through communities in Tennessee, leaving many wondering how to feel safe living in America.
Saturday’s massacre in El Paso is just the most recent example of the compounding epidemics of gun violence and of white supremacy in this country, both of which must be confronted and dismantled. We cannot address the crisis of mass shootings without a clear focus on the ideologies that have driven many of the recent shooters, like the targeting of Latinx families in El Paso or a synagogue that supported refugees in Pittsburgh.
From his rhetoric of “invasions” to his cruel policies of caging children, President Trump has been dehumanizing immigrant communities and stoking fear and violence. While Trump must be held accountable for enabling and emboldening white supremacy, so too must Tennessee’s elected officials who have echoed his rhetoric and pushed policies that attack immigrants and refugees and pit U.S.-born Tennesseans against their neighbors.
We call on elected officials in Washington, DC and across Tennessee to take swift action to end gun violence and to abandon the dangerous rhetoric and policies currently dominating our immigration debate.
Even in the face of hate, our communities are resilient. We will continue our work to combat white supremacy, defend immigrant families, and build a robust multicultural democracy where everyone feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive.
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.