Immigration

TIJUANA, MEXICO - JULY 22: A person stands next to the U.S.-Mexico border barrier painted with a mural depicting people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children and were deported as adults on July 22, 2021 in Tijuana, Mexico. The mural was created by artist Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana. While the Biden administration has haltingly restarted the asylum system along the southwest border, only a small number of asylum seekers whose situations are considered the most urgent have been allowed to cross the border with Title 42 exceptions. Thousands of asylum seekers remain stuck in Tijuana in precarious conditions. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

BY: - January 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the […]

Haitian father carries his children across the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas In 2021. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is challenging a Biden Administration program that provides a legal pathway to citizenship to asylum seekers from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tennessee attorney general challenges Biden program allowing asylum seekers path to U.S.

BY: - January 26, 2023

Tennessee on Tuesday joined 19 other GOP-led states in challenging a new Biden Administration program that provides some asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela a legal path to entering the U.S. The parole program, announced last month, would give up to 30,000 people per month a chance to legally enter the U.S. if […]

Fuad Suleman emigrated from Iraq with his family in 2017. Now a U.S. citizen, he assists other immigrants with the resettlement process. (Photo: John Partipilo)

In Tennessee, need for immigration legal help far outweighs supply

BY: - January 3, 2023

On Super Bowl Sunday in 2017, Fuad Suleman, his wife and three children were greeted in the Nashville International Airport by a crowd of hundreds who welcomed them to their new city after an exhausting journey from Iraq. The family had been caught in what was known as the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” and had […]

The exterior of TIRRC's new building explodes with colorful murals. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Refugee, faith groups respond to Tennessee GOP uproar over asylum seekers

BY: - December 21, 2022

A day after state Republican leaders condemned a plan to bring asylum seekers to Tennessee, faith leaders and immigrant advocates pushed back on “misleading” and “fear mongering” rhetoric they said runs contrary to the values of the Volunteer State. In a flurry of statements released on Tuesday, Gov. Bill Lee, GOP Sens. Marsha Blackburn and […]

TIJUANA, MEXICO - MARCH 26: Children play in the makeshift shelter camps for Central American migrants while awaiting the US authorities to allow them to enter to begin their process of asylum into the country, on March 26, 2021 in Tijuana, Mexico. Following the change of direction in immigration policy, the United States government is once again allowing asylum seekers to cross the border. (Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images)

U.S. Supreme Court temporarily keeps Title 42 immigration program in effect

BY: - December 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court is keeping Title 42 in place until the justices can review whether the pandemic-era program should be lifted or continue. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in an order on Monday stayed a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed the program, which was put in place by the […]

Protesters in front of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexanders offices on West End in 2017. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Talks over protecting Dreamers pick up in Congress, but agreement still elusive

BY: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — In a last-minute push, U.S. senators are working on a bipartisan agreement to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people who were brought to the United States as children. But the success of any major immigration deal appears unlikely, as a lame-duck session of Congress dwindles into its last days. Democrats are […]

Layla Ahmed of TIRRC Votes working outside the Nashville Public Library Southeast Branch in Antioch. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Civic engagement groups grow programs for immigrant and Black organizers

BY: - December 6, 2022

Layla Ahmed, a 2022 Vanderbilt University graduate, signed up to be a civic engagement coordinator for TIRRC Votes shortly after graduation, figuring her political science studies and prior volunteer experience on campaigns would come in handy across the state. But the highlight of her work came close to home.  “Campaigns don’t usually target my neighborhood,” […]

Conexion Americas is housed in Casa Azafran Community Center (Photo: Casa Azafran)

Grant allows expansion of Conexion Americas program for Hispanic entrepreneurs

BY: - December 1, 2022

Each year, Conexión Américas in Nashville assists more than 9,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities, but a $210,000 grant from Bank of America will allow an expansion to the existing program.  Aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs will now have access to classes, coaching and networking opportunities to build their skills and help their existing businesses grow. Participants will […]

(Photo: Jon Dragonette for TIRRC Votes)

TIRCC Votes works to reach immigrants, voters of color in rural areas

BY: - November 5, 2022

Since 2018, TIRRC Votes, an affiliate of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, has built an infrastructure across the state to harness the power of growing communities of color to have their interests represented in politics.  In August, TIRRC Votes celebrated the election of several pro-immigrant candidates across the state, including Shelby County District […]

Mayor John Cooper hands out a My City Academy diploma to Kosar Kosar. (Photo: Dulce Maria Torres Guzman)

My City Academy holds graduation for Nashville new Americans

BY: - November 4, 2022

Nashville Mayor John Cooper handed diplomas to graduates of the My City Academy on Thursday, saying the city needs more people that looked like them in government to reflect its diversity. “You’re graduating into a job, and the job is communicating what the city can do,” said Cooper.  Since 2012, Nashville has sought to create […]

Javir, whose last name is withheld for privacy reasons, migrated to the US from Venezuela. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Harassment in Venezuela, political targeting in the US: Migrants to Tennessee tell their stories

BY: - October 18, 2022

At 21 years old, Javir and her partner left Venezuela and traveled by foot through seven countries seeking a better life in the U.S.  For months, she walked. She walked through Panama, Nicaragua, Columbia, Mexico. She passed cities and towns, risking assault, robbery and violence from those taking advantage of fleeing migrants.  “You get to […]

New guidelines announced by the Biden Administration will give some Venezuelan migrants a path to temporary residence in the United States. In September, Venezuelans who crossed the U.S. border from Mexico waited in line for dinner at a hotel provided by the Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New plan for Venezuelan migrants will accept some into the U.S., send others to Mexico

BY: - October 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration  announced new guidelines for Venezuelan migrants, under which some will have a pathway to temporary residence in the United States and others who crossed the border without authorization will be sent back to Mexico. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an agreement between Mexico and the U.S. […]