Immigration reform supporters protest in Franklin
By Kerri Bartlett, Assistant Editor
A group of immigration reform activists, who called themselves “Dreamers” with Tennessee Immigration Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) held a small rally outside of Cong. Marsha Blackburn’s office last week to speak out about immigration reform.
A group of about ten “Dreamers” ages 18 to 21 chanted, “Education not deportation,” as well as, “Families separated from families. We want your vote for immigration reform.”
The group shouted requests for Blackburn to cast a House vote in favor of immigration reform.
“Undocumented Tennesseans would have an opportunity to gain legal status and a pathway to citizenship,” Eben Cathey, TIRRC Communications Coordinator said.
The current immigration reform bill passed through the Senate last summer with both Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Bob Corker. However, the bill has failed to reach the House floor.
“Until the House acts, families will be separated,” Cathey said.
Cathey shared that about 188,000 families have been separated since June under current immigration laws. The group carried a multi-colored construction paper-chain with 188,000 links representing each family.
Adrian Perez, 21, a native of Mexico who is undocumented, graduated high school in 2011 but has not been able to attend college because he is not eligible for in-state tuition due to his status.
Perez has been working construction but dreams of becoming a doctor.
“Our immigration system is broken. We believe that with Congressman Blackburn’s vote, we can make a change – not just for me and the Dreamers but for parents as well,” Perez said.
Another reform supporter group rallied last month on the same issue.
In November Mike Reynard, Deputy Chief of Staff in Blackburn’s Capitol office previously reported that, Blackburn does not support the Senate “amnesty bill.”
“It is our desire to see that Congress be effective in addressing the issues that are affecting the American people,” said Blackburn in the statement issued through Reynard in November.
“The top issues we are hearing about right now are the impact of Obamacare, the loss of jobs due to healthcare and economic policy, and concerns for our nation’s homeland security.”
Posted on: 12/19/2013