FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2018
Lindsay Kee, Communications Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, 615-320-7142
Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, Policy Director, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, 646-584-5281
As Tennessee moves dangerously close to establishing itself as one of the most hostile and unwelcoming states for immigrant families with the passage of HB 2315, several national groups have signed on to a letter urging Governor Haslam of Tennessee to veto the draconian anti-immigrant bill. Existing state and federal laws already require all local governments and law enforcement agencies to comply with federal immigration law, but HB 2315 would virtually force localities to inquire about immigration and citizenship status in even the most routine interactions. The bill would require all of Tennessee’s local law enforcement agencies to help Trump’s deportation force and would prohibit common-sense local policies that promote community trust and public safety.
Civil rights groups around the country recognize the dire implications this bill’s passage would have, and advise that Governor Haslam appreciate that this is among the nation’s most extreme anti-immigrant laws, and puts Tennessee ahead in the race to the bottom for state-based anti-immigrant policy. This kind of legislation would be a stain on the state and on his gubernatorial legacy, and would further antagonize Tennessee’s immigrant community.
Governor Haslam has until Tuesday, May 22nd to veto HB 2315, giving him 10 days since it landed on his desk after the General Assembly passed it.
American Civil Liberties Union
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Center for Community Change
Church World Service
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigrant Justice Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
United We Dream
Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:
“HB 2315 would formalize ICE’s abuse of power and make Tennessee a hostile and dangerous place for immigrant families. We stand with immigrant communities in Tennessee in urging Governor Haslam to listen to the outcry from Tennesseans across the state and to heed the warnings of civil rights groups around the country: HB 2315 is a gross overreach of federal power and harms immigrant families, public safety, local taxpayers, and Tennessee’s reputation.”
The letter from the national civil rights groups can be found here.