Report: Knoxville Among ‘Twenty-One Mostly Sanctuary Cities’ Promising to Make 1 Million US Citizens in Year

The Washington Examiner reported that Knoxville, Tennessee is one of “Twenty-one mostly ‘sanctuary cities’ . . . pledging to make 1 million immigrants U.S. citizens this year” identified in a 4th of July statement issued by Mi Familia Vota, a far left open borders group that is part of the Naturalize Now! Coalition.

“The “Naturalize NOW!” campaign, which includes liberal and progressive groups and elected officials, heralded the mayors of the cities in joining the national effort,” the Examiner reported.

“The cities that have joined the campaign are: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Jersey City, NJ; Knoxville, TN; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Miami-Dade County, FL; Montgomery County, MD; Paterson, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; New York City, NY; Salt Lake County, UT; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, CA; South Gate, CA & Tucson, AZ,” the statement released by Mi Familia Vota said.

The “Naturalize Now” campaign was launched in 2015 by a newly formed group known as the New American Democracy Campaign. The coalition includes Mi Familia Vota, “the National Partnership for New Americans and its state-based member coalitions, Mi Familia Vota, Cities for Citizenship, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), iAmerica, Center for Popular Democracy, SEIU, Unite Here, UFCW, and UFW Foundation.”

“The Latino Victory Foundation and National Partnership for New Americans unveiled their plan, dubbed New American Democracy Campaign, to help 1 million people through the naturalization process next year and register many of them to vote in time for November’s elections,” NBC News reported in December 2015.

“The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership,” according to its website:

We represent the collective power and resources of the country’s 37 largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 31 states. Our members provide large-scale services—from DACA application processing to voter registration to health care enrollment—for their communities, and they combine service delivery with sophisticated organizing tactics to advance local and state policy. We exist to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy

NPNA, along with its local Nashville affiliate, the Tennessee Immigrant Rights Coalition (TIRCC) were the two major sponsors of the National Immigration Integration Conference (NIIC) held in Nashville this past December.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero were featured speakers at the December conference in Nashville.

Nashville was not included in the list of 21 cities mentioned in the Mi Familia press release, but Knoxville, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California were.

“We celebrate our independence on July 4, and honor the values of freedom, justice, unity, and equality that make us who we are. Los Angeles joined the Naturalize NOW campaign because those principles are still worth fighting for — and to encourage eligible Angelenos and people across the country to seek a path toward citizenship and join the American family,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcett said in a YouTube video posted on the National Partnership for New Americans Facebook page on Tuesday, the 4th of July:



“According to Naturalize Now!, more immigrants than ever have applied for U.S. citizenship, a spike coming at a time when the Trump administration is warning all illegal immigrants about deportation,” the Washington Examiner reported:

According to Mi Familia, “The campaign announced on Flag Day that a record-breaking number of aspiring Americans have submitted citizenship applications in 2017, making the second quarter of this year busier than 2016, a federal election year. The Naturalize NOW! campaign is halfway through accomplishing the target goal, with over half a million people submitting applications through the first half of this year.”

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, a Democrat, is a well known supporter of open borders and pro-illegal immigrant policies.

Sanctuary cities are prohibited under Tennessee law, but a recent effort to turn Nashville into a “sanctuary-city like” jurisdiction was headed towards adoption by the Metro Nashville City Council until a groundswell of political opposition and a legal opinion from the Metro Director of Law forced its withdrawal from consideration.

In Knoxville, Mayor Rogero has vigorously expressed her opposition to full cooperation with federal agents working for the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

The City of Knoxville has a decidedly different approach than Knox County, where Sheriff Jimmy Jones just signed up to participate in the federal government’s 287 (g) program to strengthen immigration enforcement.

Knoxville, with a population of 185,000 is the county seat of Knox County, which has a population of about 430,000.

“The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was established in 1792 and has grown to be the largest law enforcement agency in East Tennessee. KCSO employs just over 1,000 employees with 475 sworn officers,” the Knox County government website reports.

In March, Rogero met “with representatives of about 20 organizations that serve or advocate for Knoxville’s immigrant communities and then proclaimed “a Day of Immigration Action,” a nationwide observance organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors,” the Knox Mercury reported:

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch stood behind Rogero nodding vigorously as Rogero said, “We are not required by law to be ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents. Our job is to keep our community safe, and we cannot do that if people are afraid of police.”

Although Knoxville Police do work with ICE, particularly on the pursuit of internet crimes against children, their duties are separate, Rogero emphasized. “We would join with other cities to work against any policies that would require us to be ICE agents,” she said.

Rausch said he has been made aware of situations since Trump’s inauguration when immigrants have been afraid to the call the police.


“Rogero’s meeting provided an opportunity for experts and advocates to share information about the legal, educational, health, and other needs of Knoxville’s immigrants. Rogero said she learned that many children who are U.S. citizens, but whose families may not all be here legally, need to acquire the right documents to prove their citizenship,” according to the Knox Mercury:

Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition, says her message for Rogero is that cities to make sure schools, courts and hospitals are free from immigration enforcement so people don’t need to hide and suffer out of fear. Her coalition is fighting for in-state tuition for undocumented students and all state legislation that would limit what cities can do to help immigrants, such as a bill to prevent any Tennessee cities from becoming “sanctuary cities.”

“I think the mayor (Rogero) has taken an exceptional amount of leadership on this issue, and Knoxville could really lead the state,” Teatro said.

Rogero spoke emotionally of her interactions with foreign workers in California during the 1970s, including Filipino farm laborers who couldn’t earn enough money even after three decades to return home or bring their own families to the U.S.

The press conference was held in coordination with other mayors across the U.S., led by the mayors of Los Angeles, Providence, Anaheim, and Seattle, through the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

You can watch the YouTube video that announced the launch of the Naturalize Now campaign in December 2015 here:


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21 Thoughts to “Report: Knoxville Among ‘Twenty-One Mostly Sanctuary Cities’ Promising to Make 1 Million US Citizens in Year”

  1. […] organizer was a Hillary Clinton delegate to the 2016 Democratic Party Convention and has embraced sanctuary city “lite” policies.  Her chief Deputy for five years is now the choice of “conservative Christian” Bill Lee as […]

  2. John Bevil

    I’m running for Knoxville mayor in the upcoming election next year. Knoxville will NOT be a sanctuary city under my watch and will be off that list. Another little piece of information about me is that my grandma and other family members came here legally to America from Nicaragua. I love the melting pot that is our country and hope that continues, but this needs to be done the right way, legally.

  3. Lamar Ethridge

    It is sad to realize that a Tennessee mayor is encouraging and in fact inviting illegal aliens to become residents of our fine town. The real fact of the matter is that they are a drain on our already meager resources. As a health care worker i see these people regularly added to the Tenncare roles as life long residents are removed. They pay no income tax and in fact commit identity theft by using stolen or fake social security numbers if any tax other than sales tax are paid by them. They use the emergency rooms with no insurance or ability to pay with many times hefty bills. We educate the illegal alien children even though the parents pay no taxes to at least share in the expense of primary and secondary education. We also feed them with the food stamp and Wic programs. I think these people should be able to become citizens through the naturalization process just as any other prospective citizen. This is privilege and is not a right to be given away just to strengthen the democrat party. We should not give away the vote to people who take advantage of our generosity as a people. This privilege must be earned! . Many of these illegal aliens do in fact vote in the national elections. Sanctuary states have made voter registration as simple as checking the “i am a citizen” box on the voter registration form.. California allows voter registration on-line & an address is not even required. People who do not believe this is true only need to go to the voter registration web site for California to see for themselves. With one lie anyone can become registered to vote in this state. I suspect other coastal left leaning states do the same. Allowing non citizens to vote in our national elections is the real “foreign” meddling in our elections issue! The democrat party has become a truly immoral force that must be voted out of Congress (and local office) unless we want to give our country away. Our national immigration problem must be corrected if we are to remain the great country we have become with the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the Civil War we fought to remain United. Vote Republican and save our great country!

  4. Sue hamilton

    Who the hell voted the dam madeline rogers into office? Tennessee use to be Red and now with all the dam illegals and northerners moving down south, they are turning our once great state into the trash cities of north, they just left. Throw out the police chief david rausch and madeline rogers. Get rid of the dam siddigi family and their dam mosque and all the dam mi familia vota, and la raza groups in our AMERICA. BACK ACROSS THE DAM BORDER! You can’t turn around unless there is a dam mexican or south of the border in you face!

    1. Anna Lawson

      ROGERO is her name. Uh…not Rogers. Sounds Hispanic or Italian to me, NOT THAT A NAME MEANS JACK SQUAT when predicting who has policies deliberately aimed at DESTROYING AMERICA. Yeah, I know the predictable argument that always comes from the Liberal Left: Republicans and The Conservative Right are racists, bigots, chauvinists and homophobes consisting only of rich, old white men and that they are against ANYONE who’s not WHITE. That’s a DAMN LIE!! How do you help a man more? By handing everything to him cradle to grave? Or by teaching that person a way to fend for himself and allowing them the opportunity to do so? The real reason the Democrat party supports bringing in illegal immigrants into every nook & cranny of America is they’re BUYING VOTES!! Oh wait a minute, I thought noncitizens couldn’t vote? Hmm, now that is interesting. Idk if voters was aware of how Far Left Ms Rogero was before they stepped into the voting booth, but the citizens of Knoxville supposedly voted her into office. Any opponents she had who disagreed with her at the time were probably branded racists & bigots for disagreeing with her.

  5. Glen Nelson

    Rogero needs to go. She was a huge supporter of Barry Soreto. It is being shown that both Barrack and Hillary used illegal methods to try to win the election. Rogero is extremely liberal and this town needs to be more centrist. She is pro-illegal alien and refuses to enforce the law or support Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE). I live in a complex that was overran by illegals 2 years ago and ICE refuses to do anything abuut it. I believe she is the reason that we are being overran. She is not a good mayor as she refuses to corporate with FEDERAL departments. She is way to liberal to be anything but a politician.

    1. bill

      I agree with you 100%. I contacted her last week about this and received no reply. This is outrageous and a very well kept secret. It’s time to organize and protest. We need to support our laws and get rid of lawless Mayors with an agenda.

  6. WAYNE H


  7. Bret

    There is also state Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) and Congresswoman Diane Black, who are also so stating opposition to sanctuary cities. I would focus in on these three GOP candidates, Mark Green, Diane Black and Randy Boyd to find out which one is more pro Tennesseans and not pro illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. If we do not act now and do our research on them, we will suffer for our lack of duty and suffer too will be the future generations of our Tennesseans.
    Let’s get busy !

  8. Bret

    Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero are both typical hypocritical, radical, alt-leftist Democrats. Who campaign on representing the working middle class. While stabbing the working middle class in the back. Encouraging illegal aliens to come to a sanctuary city and take jobs away from the working middle class by accepting lower wages, less benefits, all subsidized by taxpayer money in to the U.S. entitlement system.
    They must be voted out of office ASAP and return America back to Americans, Tennessee jobs back to Tennesseans. Candidate for governor Randy Boyd promises to enforce the state laws that prohibit sanctuary cities, we as loyal Tennesseans and Americans should support him.
    I do not advocate violence, however appearing in mass mobs at public events to shout them down and call them out for their betrayals to the citizens of Tennessee seems most appropriate. Exercise your first amendment rights, while you still have them.

  9. Johny

    The open border advocate madeline rogero has tried to ram through legislation to make knoxville a sanctuary city despite the fact that its against state law. These lawless politicians must go and be held personally accountable for their illegal acts like every other lawbreaker.
    She has currently pledged with cities known for harboring violent illegals to help perpetuate border jumpers by usurping citizenship authority from the federal government and illegally granting citizenship to aliens who arent even required to pass background checks or take a written or oral test in English.
    Vote Rogero out swiftly. Your family’s safety may depend on it. We don’t want to be a magnet for these violent offenders by circumventing state and federal law and providing refuge for them.
    If the mayor cant follow the laws of our great state and nation she needs to be removed from current office and banned from holding any public office where her salary is paid by the citizens she misrepresents.
    As citizens of knoxville and of America we cannot let elected representatives run a crash course on our laws because of an ideological belief through their elected term. We must petition for her immediate removal and hold a special election to replace her with someone who respects the oath of office and the citizens of this great nation.
    Anyone interested in helping to circulate the petition please contact me.

    1. Bret

      Support Randy Boyd for Governor of Tennessee. He pledges to enforce the law banning sanctuary cities in Tennessee.

    2. Ken

      Agree. Vote Rogero out ASAP. If she can’t follow state laws, why is she there?

    3. sue hamilton

      How the hell did the dam madeline rogers get elected into office? Tennessee use to be Republican. These dam northern freaks come south to change Red to Dam Blue. Yes vote the dam democrat out of office or throw her out of office.

  10. Matt

    KPD Chief Rausch has signed his own pink slip by standing with this liberal progressive fascist mayor. Sad because he actually has some good qualities. He just believes his bread is buttered by her instead of the citizens of Knoxville.

  11. Kurt Gross

    Goodbye Rogero. Knoxville residents need to spread the word.

    1. Keith Moore

      I live down here in Cleveland but have family in K-town, and just learned about the mayor and this sanctuary city crap… Thinking about moving back to put my vote in to get that crazy beaner out of office. Kurt I hope you and all of Knoxville will shed the dead weight that occupies the mayoral seat…

  12. Steven Sarasky

    Typical Democrat COMMUNIST!

  13. Lawrence Kasi

    I guess I know who “NOT” to vote for the upcoming mayoral election. I’m a Filipino who migrated to the this great country and proudly have served in the US Army. I love my freedom here. I will do everything I can to stop this unethical “sanctuary city” garbage. They just want votes so they recruit these illegal immigrant criminals to vote for them. I’m tired of this nonsense!

  14. Charlotte E Miller

    I can’t wait to vote her out! Big big mistake that she was ever elected to start with. She’s way to much like Hillary for me. Vote her out.

  15. Lea Nichols

    I find it appalling and embarrassing that the Mayor is more concerned about pushing for naturalization than she is for supporting the citizens of our state and city. I am a disabled American that has been a life long resident of East Tennessee. I have worked as a single mother to provide for my son and put him thru college. However, because I have a continuous work history until my disability, I have been penalized. I am not eligible for any assistance with health care, as a matter of fact, I pay more. These are issues that Madeline Rogero should be concerned about, rather than providing welfare and citizenship to illegal immigrants. She should be ashamed for not representing our state citizens and prioritizing our needs.