Im­mi­grant rights group backs Thongnop­nua

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - REGION -

The Ten­nessee Im­mi­grant and Refugee Rights Coali­tion’s voter arm has en­dorsed Joda Thongnop­nua in the House District 30 race.

Thongnop­nua, a Demo­crat, is com­pet­ing with Repub­li­can Es­ther Hel­ton for the open seat.

The group, which goes by TIRRC Votes, launched the voter or­ga­ni­za­tion this year to “build po­lit­i­cal power for im­mi­grant and refugee com­mu­ni­ties and cre­ate a proim­mi­grant ma­jor­ity in the state,” ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease.

Thongnop­nua par­ents were both from im­mi­grant fam­i­lies — his fa­ther from Thai­land and his mother’s fam­ily from Italy.

He “un­der­stands the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties that come with mi­grat­ing to the U.S. and how im­mi­grants are a part of the fab­ric of our com­mu­ni­ties and the char­ac­ter of our coun­try,” the TIRRC Votes re­lease states. “As a state leg­is­la­tor, Thongnop­nua will fight for all work­ing fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing im­mi­grants.”

The re­lease said the or­ga­ni­za­tion will mo­bi­lize nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zens and their U.S.-born chil­dren, along with pro-im­mi­grant al­lies, “to go to the polls in record num­bers.”

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