Here’s a phone number:
When you dial it, you can leave a message for Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto the extreme immigration bill that the TN Legislature just passed. This bill is called HB 2315. It is designed to undermine the existence of so-called “Sanctuary Cities” by authorizing every police officer to detain anyone for immigration reasons and initiate mass deportations.
THE GOVERNOR HAS UNTIL MAY 22 TO VETO HB2315!!
Please call and urge him to VETO this dangerous bill!
Here is an excerpt from a statement issued by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC):
“HB2315 sets a dangerous precedent by severely restricting the ability of local police to make common-sense, public safety decisions, and forcing local governments to bear the risk and expense of federal immigration enforcement.,” said Stephanie Teatro, Co- Executive Director of TIRRC
Over the course of many weeks of committee debate, members of the General Assembly heard concerns from local law enforcement, city and county officials, and others. The sponsors were unable to answer basic questions about the legal, practical, and financial implications of the bill or address the concerns about its broad impact and likely unintended consequences.
“During committee debates, the Senate sponsor invited the anti-immigrant hate group FAIR to testify, while the House sponsor used an ethnic slur when presenting the bill,” Teatro continued. “We’re alarmed and disappointed that legislators sided with the interests of the most extreme fringe of the electorate, rather than heed the warnings from law enforcement and local governments.”
The passage of the bill comes on the heels of a massive ICE raid in Bean Station, Tennessee, where nearly one hundred people in a meatpacking plant were arrested and detained in the largest worksite raid in a decade. Workers at the plant reported rough treatment and detention despite having work authorization, a clear violation of the law and basic, constitutional rights.
It is appalling to me that in a country founded by colonialists and built by immigrants and their children that we have not figured out ways to be compassionate and fair to all of the new immigrants who want to build new lives in America.
Criminalizing immigrants and detaining them indefinitely against their will is inhumane. When you factor in the immense costs involved with operating detention centers and deporting thousands of people, these are resources that could be utilized to support immigrants instead of mistreating them.
If given the chance, most, if not all immigrants, would go through all of the legal and proper channels to become a legal resident or citizen. Unfortunately, there are immense costs involved (in terms of thousands of dollars in processing fees and money needed to pay lawyers), impossibly long wait periods that have been known to take several years, and an arbitrary system that does not treat all applicants equally.
If you live in America, there is a chance that you have a friend who is an immigrant from another country. There is an even greater chance that you are descended from immigrants in your own family. In either case, the humane treatment of immigrants is something that relates to all of us in this country. Instilling fear and locking people up is not a solution.
Please call Governor Haslam and urge him to veto HB 2315.