Undocumented Immigrants Urge Knox County Sheriff ‘JJ’ Jones To Stop Seeking Direct Collaboration with Immigration Authorities, Welcome ‘No Papers No Fear’ Riders

Undocumented immigrants and supporters from Knoxville will be speaking out publicly about their experience with programs that seek collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration authorities, which lead to separation of families, distrust between police and immigrant communities, and are marred by practices of racial profiling. The riders of the No Papers No Fear bus will also be arriving on it’s way to the Democratic National Convention, inviting Sheriff to welcome undocumented immigrants to Knox county.

Knoxville, Tennessee – Undocumented immigrants, including one from Knoxville, Tennessee, will be speaking out in front of Sheriff J.J. Jones’ office about the harm that programs such as 287(g) and Secure Communities cause the Knoxville community. These two programs  promote collaboration between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, leading to increased separation of families, eroding trust between immigrant and police enforcement. On of the speakers will be Alejandro Guizar, 19, an undocumented immigrant in deportation proceedings living in Knoxville, Tennessee, who was placed in removal while walking home from a graduation party, and continues fighting his deportation even after all criminal charges were dropped.

“It’s not that I’m not scared about speaking publicly about my story, but sometimes we have to face fear to let others know the situations that we are facing every day as immigrant communities. The Sheriff has not made it clear when he will meet with us, has refused to share information with the community, and he needs to hear from undocumented immigrants living in his county, and those who have experienced the implementation of programs like Secure Communities and 287(g) around the country,” said Guizar.

Sheriff Jones has been seeking approval from the federal government and funding to implement 287(g) in Knox county.

Guizar and supporters of the immigrant community also urge Sheriff Jones to welcome and listen to the ‘No Papers No Fear’ riders, a national delegation of undocumented people and allies who left Phoenix, Arizona on July 29th, travelling across the south to rally the migrant community to overcome fear and organize to challenge anti-immigrant policies.

The No Papers No Fear ride was inspired by actions of undocumented students, such as coming out of the shadows events and civil disobedience actions, that have demonstrated the power and results of communities acting and speaking for themselves, the riders are undocumented people from all over the country and their allies, including mothers, fathers, day laborers, people in deportation proceedings, students, and many others who continue to face threats of deportation, harassment, and death while simply looking for a better life in the only nation many of them know and call home.

What: Press Conference And Welcome for No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice

When: Tuesday August 28, 2012; 3:00 PM

Where: West Hill Avenue and Gay Street, north west corner

Who: Undocumented immigrants from Knoxville, including Alexandro Guizar; No Papers No Fear Riders; Knoxville United Against Racism; Allies for Knoxville Immigrant Neighbors (AKIN); Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition; and the Unknowns Working to be Known.

More information on the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice is available at www.nopapersnofear.org, and follow @undocubus on twitter for updates.

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