Immigration

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

Tennessee immigration advocates head to DC to urge pathway to citizenship

BY: - September 20, 2021

On Sunday, immigrant-rights advocates were disheartened to learn that a pathway to citizenship for thousands of immigrants in Tennessee was excluded from the congressional Democrats $3.5 trillion social policy budget. Earlier this month, the Democratic Party began the push to expand the nation’s social safety net focused on health care, child and elder care, education […]

Gov. Bill Lee addressing members of the Tennessee National Guard. (Photo: tn.gov)

Governor signs letter to Biden requesting border ‘crisis’ discussion

BY: - September 20, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee joined 25 Republican governors Monday in sending a letter to President Joe Biden seeking a meeting to resolve the “crisis” at the Southern border where tens of thousands of Haitians and people of other nations are gathered to enter the United States. “As we surpass the eight-month mark of a relentless and […]

Poppy Thorne, age two and a half, hugs Jana Bahloul. Jana's father, Osama Bahloul, is imam at the Islamic Center of Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville Muslims mark 9-11 anniversary by aiding new refugees to U.S.

BY: - September 11, 2021

Sept. 11 holds special significance for all Americans, including the Muslim community.  Among the crowded sidewalks of 12th Avenue South, the Islamic Center of Nashville stands seemingly in contemplation of how life drastically changed the 2001 day radical terrorists flew two commercial planes onto the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people.  Behind the mosque, […]

A woman winces as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine during a pop-up clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in South Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Low Latino vaccination rates in Shelby County prompt concern

BY: - September 3, 2021

Low vaccination rates in Shelby County’s Latino community drew a plea from a representative of the Mexican Consulate at Thursday’s media briefing by the Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force.  “The [COVID] vaccines are safe, ethical, convenient, save lives and are safe, said Rodolfo Qulantan Arenas of the Little Rock, Arkansas consulate. “You don’t have to […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

State lawmakers look to levy punishments on those aiding undocumented immigrants

BY: - August 13, 2021

Lawmakers speculated Thursday on how the state can further regulate companies providing services to undocumented immigrants under federal contracts and if the state can levy stricter punishments on those aiding undocumented immigrants.  The questions came during a meeting of the Joint Study Committee on Refugee Issues, which was formed after a group of migrant children […]

Saddler Funeral Home in Lebanon, where Reid Van Ness stored bodies for months at a time. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Second lawsuit filed against unlicensed funeral director and two funeral homes

BY: - August 4, 2021

A second lawsuit has been filed against two Middle Tennessee funeral homes and a Tennessee funeral director who lost his licenses for failing to send bodies of deceased immigrants overseas for burial. Filemon Dominguez Diaz died in November, 2019.  After his death, an acquaintance, Domingo Carlin Sanchez, contacted Diaz’s sister, Martha Angelica Dominguez Torres, to […]

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

Texas ruling on DACA dashes hopes in Tennessee

BY: - July 27, 2021

On July 16, a Texas federal judge ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program was illegal, and although DACA recipients have learned to live with uncertainty, many were still heart broken. Nashville DACA recipient Nathalia Castro had to think carefully about  pursuing higher education, knowing that the DACA program still faces legal challenges. […]

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, center, has expressed suspicion about the suspension of the Baptiste Group. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Chattanooga center for immigrant children sues state over license suspension

BY: - July 20, 2021

The Chattanooga organization that runs a short-term center for immigrant children sued the state Tuesday, seeking to have its license reinstated, after the Department of Children’s Services suspended it over allegations of sexual misconduct. Baptiste Group, which runs La Casa de Sidney, and holds a contract with the federal government to accept immigrant children until […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Lawyer charges human trafficking played part in 16-year-old’s death on construction site

BY: - July 19, 2021

A Nashville judge ruled that evidence of human trafficking would be allowed in the case of a 16-year-old who died in a construction-related accident in downtown Nashville last year.  Gustavo Ramirez had been working on a scaffold without a harness during construction of La Quinta Inn on Interstate Drive when he fell 120 feet to […]

Gov. Bill Lee addressing members of the Tennessee National Guard. (Photo: tn.gov)

After National Guard trip, governor says nation needs new Southern border strategy

BY: - July 12, 2021

Shrugging off the notion that the Southern border “crisis” is a political attack, Gov. Bill Lee says the nation should develop a new strategy to stop a surge in illegal crossings and activity from Mexico. After a two-day trip to review 300 Tennessee National Guard soldiers serving on a year-long mission for border patrol support, […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Refugee arrivals in Tennessee drop to historic low in 2020

BY: - July 8, 2021

As a former child soldier, Gatluak Thach was granted refugee status and moved to Nashville in 1996 to start a new life. Efforts to teach his wife and the nearby community English eventually led to Thach founding the Nashville Center for Empowerment, but over the last few years, Thach noticed a significant decrease in the number […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Amid investigation, Hakeem raises questions about state suspension of Baptiste Group license

BY: - July 7, 2021

Allegations of sexual abuse at a Baptiste Group home for migrant children gave the state an excuse to suspend the facility’s license as political pressure mounted, a Chattanooga Democrat says. “That’s my perspective,” state Rep. Yusuf Hakeem said Tuesday. “And what concerns me is that supposedly the state would have been doing on-site reviews every […]