Join AKIN and Bridge Refugee Services Wednesday, February 1 at 12:30 pm in Market Square as we support our immigrant, refugee, and Muslim brothers and sisters.
The vigil will begin at 12:30 pm on Market Square in Downtown Knoxville. We will observe silence until 1pm followed by a walk to the City County building where we will deliver a letter voicing our support for immigrants, refugees, and Muslims to the offices of Senator Bob Corker, Senator Lamar Alexander, and Representative John Duncan, Jr.
We are encouraging people to wear red, white, and/or blue.
Please bring signs showing your support for immigrants and refugees!
Our January meeting will be this Wednesday, January 18, sandwiched between inspiration and threat: Martin Luther King’s memorial on Monday, and Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. We intend to call upon Monday’s inspiration to prepare for the unprecedented threat that Friday ushers in.
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.
In this ugly election season, at least one piece of news contains a seed of hope I believe is worth pondering. Voters across the political spectrum have made it clear to elite movers and shakers in both major parties that they are fed up with the economic policies and ideological assumptions that underpin so-called “free trade” agreements like NAFTA and the TPP. It is past time those in power heard this important message and took heed.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.