Take Action

The­se are uncer­tain times for our com­mu­ni­ty. At times like this, we must come togeth­er and take action. Now is the time to share our sto­ries, con­tact our elect­ed offi­cials, and be vocal on social media ensur­ing we are keep­ing issues the mat­ter to our com­mu­ni­ty at the fore­front of the nation­al con­ver­sa­tion. Learn more about our advo­ca­cy on behalf of undoc­u­ment­ed stu­dents and DACA recip­i­ents, and join the move­ment if you haven’t already to advo­cate for the Dream Act of 2017.

Contact your Tennessee Representatives

Our rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Con­gress must fill the void of lead­er­ship left by the exec­u­tive branch of our gov­ern­ment and come togeth­er to pass leg­is­la­tion that will pro­tect our undoc­u­ment­ed and DACA­ment­ed com­mu­ni­ty.

Please con­tact our Sen­a­tors today and urge them to step up to pro­tect the thou­sands of immi­grant youth that call Ten­nessee home. Ask them to con­demn Pres­i­dent Trump’s deci­sion to rescind DACA and move quick­ly to enact leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect DACA recip­i­ents.


Sen­a­tor Bob Cork­er

Call: 202–224-3344
@SenBobCorker

What to say (sam­ple call script):

Hel­lo my name is ____ and I live in (zip code). I am call­ing to urge Sen­a­tor Bob Cork­er to denounce Pres­i­dent Trump’s deci­sion to rescind DACA and to com­mit to mov­ing quick­ly to enact­ing leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect DACA recip­i­ents and our undoc­u­ment­ed com­mu­ni­ty. I urge Con­gress to pur­sue clean leg­is­la­tion that doesn’t use immi­grant youth as bar­gain­ing chips again­st they fam­i­ly mem­bers or oth­er mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ty.” [You can include rea­sons why this issue is impor­tant to you]

Sen­a­tor Lamar Alexan­der
Call: 202–224-4944
@SenAlexander

What to say:

Hel­lo my name is ____ and I live in (zip code). I am call­ing to urge Sen­a­tor Lamar Alexan­der to denounce Pres­i­dent Trump’s deci­sion to rescind DACA and to com­mit to mov­ing quick­ly to enact­ing leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect DACA recip­i­ents and our undoc­u­ment­ed com­mu­ni­ty. I urge Con­gress to pur­sue clean leg­is­la­tion that doesn’t use immi­grant youth as bar­gain­ing chips again­st they fam­i­ly mem­bers or oth­er mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ty.”  [You can include rea­sons why this issue is impor­tant to you]

Thank Congressman Jim Cooper


Con­gress­man Jim Coop­er
Call: 202–225-4311
Tweet: @RepJimCooper

What to say (sam­ple call script):

Hel­lo my name is ____ and I live in (zip code). I am call­ing to thank Con­gress­man Jim Coop­er for his sup­port of DACA recip­i­ents and immi­grant youth. I urge Con­gress to pur­sue clean leg­is­la­tion that doesn’t use immi­grant youth as bar­gain­ing chips again­st they fam­i­ly mem­bers or oth­er mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ty.” [You can include rea­sons why this issue is impor­tant to you]

Learn About the Coalition #DefendDACA Campaign

On June 29th, 2017 Tex­as led nine attor­neys gen­er­al — includ­ing Tennessee’s Her­bert Slat­tery III — in send­ing a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Trump and Attor­ney Gen­er­al Jeff Ses­sions giv­ing Trump a dead­line to ter­mi­nate the DACA pro­gram by Sep­tem­ber 5th, or they would file a law­suit.

The fol­low­ing months saw the rise of the #Defend­DA­CA move­ment across the nation. As edu­ca­tors, the Ten­nessee Edu­ca­tion­al Equi­ty Coali­tion joined the move­ment by way of writ­ing a let­ter to our two U.S. Sen­a­tors ask­ing them to urge Trump to pro­tect DACA and to work towards a longterm leg­isla­tive solu­tion.

Over 240 edu­ca­tors from Ten­nessee signed on to our let­ter.

In recog­ni­tion of the threat to DACA, and the short-term nature of the pro­gram, leg­is­la­tion has been intro­duced in Con­gress to provide a more per­ma­nent pro­tec­tion and a path­way to cit­i­zen­ship for young immi­grants.

Learn About the Tuition Opportunity Campaign

The Ten­nessee Immi­grant and Refugee Rights Coali­tion has been lead­ing efforts at the state leg­is­la­ture to allow undoc­u­ment­ed stu­dents access to in-state tuition rates. As of now, undoc­u­ment­ed stu­dents have to pay out-of-state rates and pub­lic insti­tu­tions of high­er edu­ca­tion.

Learn more about the cam­paign and how to be a part of the effort.

Legislative History of the Tuition Opportunity Campaign

09th Gen­er­al Assem­bly (2015–2016)
SB 612 (Gar­den­hire) HB 675 (M. White): The Tuition Equal­i­ty bill

The bill pro­posed in 2015 would have grant­ed in-state tuition to stu­dent who are con­sid­ered law­ful­ly present in Ten­nessee and grad­u­at­ed from a Ten­nessee high school, obtained a GED, or been home­schooled in Ten­nessee. The bill would not have expand­ed access to state finan­cial aid, like the HOPE Schol­ar­ship or Ten­nessee Promise. 

In 2015, the Tuition Equal­i­ty bill suc­ceed­ed in the Sen­ate but failed in the House by one vote.

In 2016, the bill need­ed 18 votes to move out of the House Cal­en­dar and Rules Com­mit­tee. How­ev­er, 18 votes could not be secured so the bill made no move­ment.

110th Gen­er­al Assem­bly (2017–2018)
SB 1014 (Gar­den­hire) HB 863 (M. White): The Tuition Oppor­tu­ni­ty Bill

The bill pro­posed would have grant­ed stu­dents access to in-state tuition rates if they had: attend­ed high school for the two years pri­or to high school grad­u­a­tion, grad­u­at­ed from a Ten­nessee high school, obtained a GED or com­plet­ed a home school pro­gram in Ten­nessee.

This bill advanced from the first com­mit­tees in the House and the Sen­ate, but failed by one vote in the House Edu­ca­tion Admin­is­tra­tion and Plan­ning Com­mit­tee.

SB 635 (Gar­den­hire) HB 660 (M. White)

The bill pro­posed would have autho­rized each pub­lic gov­ern­ing body to deter­mine qual­i­fi­ca­tions for in-state tuition rates. 

The House pro­posed amend­ment to the bill removed lan­guage that would have allowed undoc­u­ment­ed stu­dents to ben­e­fit from the access to in-state tuition. The bill was deferred to 2018.