|Today, throughout the state of Tennessee, from Knoxville to Memphis, thousands of immigrants and supporters joined millions across the country in a National Day of Action. Immigrant community members and their supporters participated in marches, vigils, and rallies, speaking out in support of humane, realistic, and comprehensive immigration reform. |
Today’s events were peaceful reminders that immigrants who live in Tennessee work hard and contribute to its economic and cultural fabric and that punitive measures proposed by some lawmakers would only increase the suffering and exploitation of our neighbors, friends, and community members.
|Hundreds of immigrants workers and their supporters gathered at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. |
On that site two paths of the same struggle converged and spoke together in one voice from the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. Speakers included Dr. Samuel (Billy) Kyles, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Dr. Dwight Montgomery, Dr. Sandy Willson, as well as immigrant community leaders.
In Knoxville, immigrant supporters gathered for a vigil and procession in front of the City-County Building. Immigrants and their allies in East Tennessee held a vigil in front of the offices of U.S. Senators Frist and Alexander, and U.S. Representative Duncan.
Today’s event built upon last month’s unprecedented immigrant rights marches in Tennessee that drew over 700 in Knoxville and more than 15,000 in Nashville.
Finally, in Jonesborough, Tennessee immigrants and supporters marched through downtown and congregated at the courthouse.
Participants held up pay stubs and tax receipts, demonstrating that they too pay taxes and contribute to the local economy. They wore white shirts to symbolize their peaceful participation in the civic process.