TN Faith Leaders Support Tuition Equality

interfaith_conference_logos1Over the course of the spring 2016 session of the General Assembly, in anticipation of a vote on Tuition Equality in the Tennessee House, AKIN convened a working group of people of faith to try to make sure that area representatives heard from faith leaders supportive of Tuition Equality.  Eventually two letters were circulated within local faith circles.  The texts were similar, with one speaking from a Christian perspective and the other from an interfaith perspective.   Together the letters were signed by ninety faith leaders from Knoxville and surrounding communities, from a range of different denominations and faith traditions, people who live and worship in many legislative districts across our area.  The letters were sent to over a dozen members of the Tennessee House.  

Immigrant Students Want to Learn!

Credit: Meghan Conley

Help Build Support for Tuition Equality!

Many students are presently locked out, with dreams on hold — Each year, undocumented students graduate from Tennessee high schools with hopes of continuing their education and starting a career that benefits our state and strengthens our communities. However, no matter how long they have lived in Tennessee or what their potential is, undocumented Tennessee students must pay out-of-state rates that often total more than three times the tuition their in-state classmates pay to attend a public college or university—even if they meet the same residency requirements as their peers. For many this barrier is insurmountable.

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March to Support DACA and DAPA

8586398511_5494741f78_bThe Comité Popular de Knoxville invites you to join immigrant community organizations around the state and around the country to send a clear message:

We must implement DAPA and the DACA extension!

These programs will allow immigrant families to stay united and they will help our economy grow.

Join us on: Tuesday, May 19, 7-8:30 pm for a sidewalk march, rally, and vigil.

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Tuition Equality Falls Short by One Vote


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
Contact: Eben Cathey 615.775.1069,

Nashville – This afternoon, the Tuition Equality bill failed to pass in the House on a vote of 49-47, lacking the constitutional majority (50) required for passage. Three members were not present for the vote. The bill was referred back to Calendar and Rules and can be reconsidered next legislative session, without having to be reconsidered in the Senate or committees it has already passed.

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AKIN’s Letter to the DHS

Following is the text of a letter AKIN sent to the Department of Homeland Security raising concerns over Sheriff Jones’ request for 287(g) delegation of immigration authority.

Dear Secretary Napolitano and Director Morton:

Fifteen months ago, allies of immigrants, advocacy groups, and faith based organizations in Knox County accidentally found out that secret negotiations were ocurring between Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones and officials from ICE regarding implementing a 287(g) MOA in Knox County, TN.

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Report: 287(g) Forum with Sheriff JJ Jones

by Alex Fields

Concerned community members have been asking to meet with Sheriff “J.J.” Jones about his proposed 287(g) program for some 14 months now, ever since ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) announced they were going to move forward on the Sheriff’s request to implement the program. After over a year, the Sheriff finally provided a space for the community to express concerns. On June 2, County Commissioner Amy Broyles hosted a community forum on this issue with the Sheriff and two of his officers present.

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