Good job in telling Juana's story, although it is saddens me that this article makes no mention of the pivotal role that the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) played in bringing light to this and in preparing and supporting Juana to face the multi-year legal process she has been battling and winning. Neither does it mention that their efforts not only were instrumental in getting Sheriff Hall to end the 287(g) program in Davidson Co., but also in helping change the attitude of our local decision makers towards immigrants.
Not mentioned either is that we still have the "Secure Communities" program, which TIRRC and many other allies throughout the state and the country are still working to end. This program not only continues to break families and jail and deport people who are only guilty of a civil infraction, but also causes tremendous damage to the trust between the immigrant population and law enforcement.
Refugees are a very specific category of people defined under 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). As per the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, "Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion." Thus, refugees are admitted for humanitarian reasons. Once asylum and refugee status are granted to a person, this, of course, means they have a legal status in this country; hence Joe Carr and his ilk cannot throw the "i" word at them. So they whine about the next best thing, their supposed "cost". Or their religion, or whatever.
TN law (TCA § 39-13-506) states, in a few words, that: a) Sex with a minor not younger than 13 is considered statutory rape if the partner is at least 4 years older than the minor. b) Minors younger than 13 cannot legally consent to having sex with anyone.
This means that minors between 13 and 18 can legally consent to having sex with somebody who is less than four years older than they are, i.e., a 17-year old can legally consent to sex with a 20-year old. On the other hand, a 13-year old minor cannot consent legally to having sex with a 17-year old, who would be committing statutory rape.
Fabian is a careful listener and a thoughtful man that truly believes in our democratic system. As a member of the Latino and immigrant communities myself, I am proud that he has been elected to our council and glad that he will be able to bring our perspective to a body that frequently either does not consider us or has no idea how to deal with us. Congratulations, Fabian!
The SouthComm Set
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