NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TN Tribune) – On Monday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution (HJR 0652) that calls on the Tennessee State Legislature to urge Congress to complete a wasteful and useless wall at our southern border. 

We need common sense policies that promote safe and dignified migration. Painting the southern border as a “crisis” is an outdated pretext for anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric and is not reflective of the majority of Tennesseans’ views on migration.

Fact is, a border wall is not only harmful and unnecessary, it’s unrealistic. Even former Trump Chief of Staff and former head of the Department of Homeland Security John Kelly told lawmakers in January 2018, that a border wall was unnecessary because there are places where, geographically, a wall would not be realistic. 

“Today the Tennessee legislature chose to reiterate dispelled, racist talking points and misinformation regarding border communities. They chose to target and racially stereotype immigrant and refugee communities to permeate a regressive immigration agenda through inaccurate and conflated rhetoric. The real threat is a legislature that won’t listen and insists on promoting wasteful legislation instead of addressing Tennesseans’ real needs. Many immigrants put their and their families’ lives on the line to keep our state running throughout this pandemic. They are keeping Tennessee families fed, healthy, and safe, all while our legislature plots and plans cruel ways to deter immigrants from calling Tennessee home. Our state is at its best when we all feel safe in our communities and can thrive where we’ve laid down roots. We need legislators to focus on thanking, uplifting and protecting the very people who make our state great, instead of building unnecessary barriers that perpetuate divisive narratives.” – Judith Clerjeune, Campaigns and Advocacy Director with Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Votes (TIRRC Votes)