May 7, 2012
On May 3rd, hundreds of women from across the country took a virtual trip to Tennessee for the We Belong Together Delegation. This was our first “virtual delegation” and it allowed us to share stories from Tennessee with folks from all over the country.
We Belong Together was invited to Tennessee by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee
Rights Coalition, and by the group Knoxville United against Racism: Alto 287g. These two
groups and others are engaged in high, stakes organizing to block a proposed partnership between the Knox County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) and federal officials on immigration
enforcement. The KCSO applied for a 287(g) grant in 2009, but it wasn’t until this year that the
county began negotiations with officials from the ICE. The 287(g) program authorizes to local
police officers to enforce federal immigration laws. This program, along with the federal Secure
Communities program, has opened the floodgates for widespread racial profiling, harassment,
During the listening session, the women told heartbreaking stories of separation, loss, and fear. The women who spoke as part of the listening session bear the brunt of the anti-immigrant policies that destroy our families and attack our dignity.
The stories they told were heartbreaking, but they were also stories of strength, courage,
perseverance, and resistance.
More information about the listening session, the testimonies, our Delegation Statement, and a petition in support of the women and families of Knox County are available here