Dear friend,

Governor Bill Lee announced today that Tennessee will continue to welcome refugees. 

In September, President Trump issued an executive order that required governors to affirmatively consent to ongoing refugee resettlement in their state. Today, Governor Lee joins 24 other governors in confirming our state’s willingness to resettle refugees. His decision makes Tennessee the first state in the South to consent.

This is a historic victory - and it wouldn’t have happened without you.

Hundreds of you sent emails and made phone calls, making sure the Governor knew that Tennesseans and communities across the state are ready and willing to accept more refugees. Faith leaders uplifted the moral imperative to welcome refugees. Refugee resettlement agencies helped explain the life-saving work they do and how deeply rooted they are in Tennessee communities. 

And it has been the powerful voices of refugee leaders that have offered the most robust defense of the resettlement program.

Tennesseans who arrived as refugees are not only defending the resettlement program, but are leading the fight to defend the values and aspirations of this country.

Even as we celebrate today’s announcement, we know that we have so much work ahead. Though Tennessee will be among the states that continue resettling refugees, the number of refugees that will be resettled this year will be at a historic low and some state legislators may try to reverse the governor’s decision

Can you help make sure that Governor Lee knows that Tennesseans support his decision to welcome refugees? Take 30 seconds to send him a thank you message - and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Together we can defend refugee resettlement and make Tennessee a truly welcoming state.

Judith R. Clerjeune, Policy Officer 


Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
2195 Nolensville Pike  | Nashville, Tennessee 37211
615-833-0384 |

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