Immigration

Lara Castillos featured

State to investigate new allegations that Tennessee funeral director continues to exploit grieving immigrant families

BY: and - February 25, 2021

A Tennessee funeral director and embalmer who surrendered his licenses early in 2020 after he failed to return bodies to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala for burials has continued to offer funeral services in immigrant communities — and, in at least one recent instance, neglected for months to deliver remains to a grieving family. Roommates and […]

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

A Tennessee funeral director made promises to immigrant families; he didn’t deliver

BY: and - February 11, 2021

Ramy Jadiel Ajualip Primero, the baby in his family, died unexpectedly at just 18 months old. He was rushed to the hospital after experiencing convulsions. A grim prognosis ensued. With no hope for recovery, the boy was taken off life support 15 days later.  In shock, Ramy’s parents were certain of one thing: they wanted […]

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

Director de funerarias hizo promesas a familias inmigrantes y no cumplió

BY: - February 11, 2021

Ramy Jadiel Ajualip Primero, el bebé de su familia, murió inesperadamente con solo 18 meses de edad. Fue trasladado de urgencia al hospital después de sufrir convulsiones. Se produjo un pronóstico sombrío. Sin esperanza de recuperación, el niño fue retirado del soporte vital 15 días después. En estado de shock, los padres de Ramy estaban […]

Hand holding cell phone with emergency number 911 on black background

Fear of law enforcement, communication issues hamper use of 911

BY: - February 1, 2021

For many members of Tennessee’s immigrant communities, calling 911 in an emergency situation is not a viable option, and advocates are working to remove fear of the system and make it more user-friendly. Last year’s police brutality protests and years of anti-immigration policies have strained relations between New Americans and law enforcement officials, and while […]

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

Biden election gives hope for DACA, immigrant rights organizations

BY: - December 14, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s election win renewed hope for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA,) but advocates with immigrant-rights organizations say there will still be many challenges in the next few months.  During President Donald Trump’s tenure, DACA applications were closed as the administration sought to roll back the program. Although limited in its […]

A group from Elmahaba Center holding a voter registration drive in September. The center has hosted mayoral forums and urged census participation as well as sharing information about COVID-19. (Photo: Elmahaba Facebook)

Nashville immigrant groups create social media platforms for sharing COVID-19 information

BY: - December 8, 2020

Nashville has a thriving immigrant community with residents speaking more than 130 languages. But that same diversity created challenges for Metro Nashville government officials when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Tennessee in March.  Several of Nashville’s established immigrant communities either already had social media platforms or were in the process of developing outlets to be able […]

Maria Hernandez at Davidson County General Sessions Court in November, waiting to see if she can work out a deal with her landlord to stay in her apartment. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Immigrants face unique challenges in staving off evictions

BY: - December 2, 2020

For Maria Hernandez, 36, this has been a stressful year. Her husband was deported in February due to domestic abuse and although it was for the best, she hasn’t recovered financially. After months of trying to find work in a pandemic, Hernandez and her six children were about to be evicted, despite a national moratorium […]

Voters stand in line on the first day of early voting in Nashville at Casa Azafran. (Photo: John Partipilo)

First time immigrant voters take pride in making their voices heard

BY: - October 28, 2020

On a rainy Saturday morning, when others slept warm and dry at home, dozens of people stood drenched and cold outside Casa Azafran waiting for their turn to vote. Although very few brought umbrellas, they held their resilience against the rain on their shoulders to participate in this civic duty.   For the 2020 presidential elections, […]

(jopstock/Getty Images)

Immigrant communities suffer as funeral traditions upended in pandemic

BY: - October 22, 2020

For many members of the immigrant community, sending the body of a loved one back to their native land is an important part of life in the U.S., but the pandemic has complicated an already complex procedure. COVID-19 has been affecting mortuary shipping services, and most international flights to and from the U.S. have been […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Immigrant rights advocate Mohamed-Shukri Hassan discusses new role with Nashville government

BY: - September 30, 2020

If the pandemic has done anything, it has shown how easily a crisis like COVID-19 can decimate the vulnerable, and Nashville’s growing immigrant community has been no exception. Hispanics and immigrants continue to make up the largest percentage of COVID cases in the area and have had few resources to alleviate the crisis.  “I think […]

A 2018 photo from a TIRRC demonstration. (Photo: Jon Dragonette/TIRRC Facebook)

Immigrant rights group changes leadership as directors step down

BY: - July 17, 2020

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) faces new direction and leadership for the upcoming election as the current directors step down for a new leader.  Co-Executive Directors Stephanie Teatro and Lindsey Harris recently announced their leave from TIRRC to make way for a new director, Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus. Tennessee Lookout spoke with Teatro, Harris and […]

A Honduran child plays at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center after recently crossing the U.S., Mexico border with his father on June 21, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Border officials did not follow guidelines on migrant children’s health care, government investigators find

BY: - July 16, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not consistently followed new guidelines for medical care of migrant children and spent some of the agency’s money designated for “medical care” on unrelated items like printers, speakers and its canine program, according to a new federal investigation. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent “congressional watchdog,” found gaps […]