Largest immigration conference in US meets in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – More than 1,000 people are gathered at the Omni hotel in downtown Nashville for the 9th annual National Immigrant Integration Conference.

Tara Raghuveer, the deputy director of The National Partnership for New Americans, explained the mission for the event.

“NPNA’s mission is to work for a more welcoming, just and vibrant democracy for all.”

Raghuveer said organizing the conference became tricky after Donald Trump’s presidential victory on Nov. 8.

“We had to recalibrate pretty much every conversation that happens during the conference. This isn’t because we weren’t expecting to have these types of conversations. It’s because we have a new political reality,” Raghuveer told News 2.

That new political reality is not clear though. Trump has vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

Last week in Iowa he echoed the importance of securing the border.

“We’re going to have people coming into our country, but they’re going to come in through a process,” stated Trump. “They’re going to come in legally and we’re going to see that these people have true capability to love us, to love us, not to hate us, to love us.”

This year’s immigration conference is the first meeting since Trump’s election and the last before his inauguration.

Organizers say Nashville is a perfect fit because it has one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the country.

Mayor Megan Barry is scheduled to speak at the conference Monday morning, along with singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris.

The conference wraps up Tuesday.

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