Post-election Message

We are sure many of you are feeling as stunned and worried as we are about the election results and about what is in store for everyone in our country — most especially for immigrants and refugees.

Please know that AKIN is already working with others in the immigrants’  rights movement and with allied groups to make sense of what is happening and to plan for ways to push back against the dangerous dynamics now in play.  For instance, the weekend after the election several members of AKIN, together with several members of the Comité Popular de Knoxville, traveled to Black Mountain, NC to attend a conference of grassroots immigrants’ rights groups from across the Southeast.  Further, organizers from the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRCC) visited Knoxville around that same time, and among other things they met with a number of young DREAMers close to AKIN and the Comité Popular.  Their discussion included the future of DACA and a plan for coming back to the General Assembly in the spring with a new bill aimed at achieving better access to higher education for immigrant youth.

Continue reading Post-election Message

Countering myths: Contagion

This is part two of a five part series on countering myths about undocumented immigrants.  For other posts in this series, select from the following: part one (Il/legal).  Check back for part three (Workplace Abuses); part four (Deportation); and part five (Telling Our Own Story).

CONTAGION

by PD

Some say immigrants bring disease.  This accusation has been leveled at immigrants for over a century:

“The Irish were charged with bringing cholera to the United States in 1832. Later the Italians were stigmatized for polio. Tuberculosis was called the ‘Jewish disease.’ . . . . Asians were portrayed as feeble and infested with hookworm, Mexicans as lousy, and eastern European Jews as vulnerable to trachoma, tuberculosis, and—a favorite ‘wastebasket’ diagnosis of nativists in the early 1900s—‘poor physique.’” Source.

The USA seems to have survived many waves of immigration despite these fears – our current low standing on world health scores is due entirely to crummy policy.  The news media haven’t yet blamed our epidemic of prescription drug abuse on immigrants, but no doubt some blogger somewhere is making that claim.

Continue reading Countering myths: Contagion

Countering Myths: Il/legal

This is part one of a five part series on countering myths about undocumented immigrants.  Stay tuned for upcoming posts: part two (Contagion); part three (Workplace Abuses); part four (Deportation); and part five (Telling Our Own Story).

IL/LEGAL

by PD

Lots of people complain that immigrants who come here without visas or who overstay their visas are breaking the law and should be punished.  Folks are rightly concerned when we think the system is rigged, when it seems some people can scoff at the rules while the rest of us have to abide by them.  With regard to immigrants, the common assumption is that there is a clear legal path to immigration and that folks should just “get in line” and “wait their turn.”  However, this assumption overlooks several important facts.

Continue reading Countering Myths: Il/legal

Annual Meeting Boosts Spirits

by Fran Ansley

AKIN held its Annual Meeting on July 8, 2016, and it was a successful evening that boosted our spirits.

In planning for the event, we assumed it would be a small affair.  After all, on June 23 we had mounted a major push, strongly urging all members and supporters to turn out for actions called by Knoxville’s immigrant-led grassroots group, the Comité Popular.

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Photo Credit: Ralph Hutchison

June 23 was a watershed — and severely disappointing — moment for the immigrant community, because it was the day the US Supreme Court announced its split decision in the case of United States v. Texas. That result allowed a provisional injunction against Obama’s 2014 “deferred action” programs to stand, thereby postponing a final decision until after the President will have left office, and leaving in limbo hundreds of thousands of people across the country who had hoped for temporary relief under that program. (Click here to read AKIN’s statement on the ruling.)

So our expectations for turn-out were low, but in fact we garnered quite a respectable showing from both immigrant and non-immigrant communities, despite a lightning-laced storm that hit Knoxville that evening.  

Continue reading Annual Meeting Boosts Spirits

Happy 4th of July!

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Photo Credit: Meghan Conley

This Is My Song

by Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,

Continue reading Happy 4th of July!

Coverage of AKIN March

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Photo Credit: Ralph Hutchison

On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court released its ruling on US v. Texas, a 4-4 split decision that results in a continued injunction against DAPA and expanded DACA.  (To read AKIN’s official statement on the ruling, click here.)

In response, members and allies of the Comité Popular and AKIN marched in downtown Knoxville to express our disappointment over this outcome.

You can see a photo slideshow and read coverage of yesterday’s march from the Knox News Sentinel, including the following quote from longtime AKIN ally Angel Ibarra: Continue reading Coverage of AKIN March

March to Condemn SCOTUS Decision

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Photo Credit: Lee Sessions

At 6pm tonight, AKIN and other allies will join the Comite Popular at the Birdhouse to give a statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision in US v. Texas, which continues the injunction of President Obama’s executive orders on Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

From 7 – 7:30 pm, we will gather at the intersection of Gay and Magnolia to begin a sidewalk procession through Downtown Knoxville, ending at Krutch Park.

At 8pm, we will have a program with speakers and music at Krutch Park Extension.

Join us to learn more about the Supreme Court decision and what we can do next to support immigrant families in our communities.

AKIN Deplores SCOTUS Decision in US v Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 23, 2016

Tie in Supreme Court Means Immigration Program Still Blocked for Now

AKIN Deplores Decision and Will Join Events Tonight at 6 and 8

Knoxville, TN – This morning, Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors (AKIN) greeted with severe disappointment a tied decision in the U.S. Supreme Court that will leave in place an injunction presently blocking President Obama’s 2014 administrative program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and its companion program of expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA).  Tonight AKIN members and allies will join events called by local immigrants’ rights group, the Comité Popular, at 6 pm at the Birdhouse and 8pm in Krutch Park Extension to condemn this decision and pledge on-going commitment to making our community, state and nation a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.

Continue reading AKIN Deplores SCOTUS Decision in US v Texas