287(g) Community Briefing

Update: We recently learned that a signed memorandum of agreement (MOA) between ICE and Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “JJ” Jones has appeared on the ICE website.  For more information, click here.

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Photo Credit: Meghan Conley

Please join us for a community briefing to learn more about Knox County’s recent application for 287(g).  The 287(g) program, which authorizes local police to act as immigration agents, has a proven track record of abuses and civil rights violations. 

We will discuss the current status of 287(g) in Knox County and what we have already done to fight back.  Please join us to learn how you can be involved.

What: 287(g) Community Briefing
When: Saturday, May 20, 2 – 4 pm
Where: St. James Episcopal Church

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287(g) back in play!

Update: We recently learned that a signed memorandum of agreement (MOA) between ICE and Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “JJ” Jones has appeared on the ICE website.  For more information, click here.

Despite our previously successful efforts from 2012-2013 to prevent the implementation of 287(g) in Knox County, we are now in a new situation because the Trump administration intends to expand this program across the country.   AKIN learned recently that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is presently considering 287(g) applications from 18 counties across the country, including one from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Background and some history

For those who are unfamiliar with this program, 287(g) encourages collaboration between ICE and local law enforcement.  If Knox County’s application for 287(g) is approved, county deputies who work in the jail will be trained as ICE officers and will be able to question inmates about their documentation status and initiate deportation proceedings against those who are found to be undocumented.  In effect, this program will increase the number of local officials involved in immigration enforcement.

Continue reading 287(g) back in play!

AKIN & Bridge to host vigil

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Photo Credit: Adam Hughes

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!

 

 

Post-election Information Session

Please join us on Wednesday, December 14, from 5 – 7pm for a post-election information session for immigrants in our community.

The event will be in Spanish with English interpretation.

Among other topics, we will discuss:

  • What a president can and cannot do (presented by an immigration attorney)
  • Recommendations and steps to take for the safety of your family

Continue reading Post-election Information Session

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.

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Free Trade and the Presidential Campaign

by Fran Ansley

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.

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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