Kingsport church hopes to bring understanding to immigration issue


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Immigration, its a topic we hear and read about quite often.

“We hear a lot of conversation about immigration, but there is a definite lack of understanding,” says Joy Eastridge.

And that’s why she decided to organize “Heart of a Sojourner: We are all immigrants” at First Broad Street United Methodist Church in Kingsport on Thursday night.

“Everyone’s entitled to an opinion but I think its important that its an informed decision based upon how the law works,” said Michael Eastridge- an immigration attorney in the Tri-Cities.

Eastridge was the featured speaker and he says while East Tennessee is far from the border- it’s a local issue with a big local impact.

“ICE used to have an office in Knoxville that was not staffed that highly, but since then there’s been a little more activity in this area,” said Eastridge.

Recent headlines and conversations from the president have piqued interest and conversation.

“The detention of children and families and what’s happening at the border kind of accelerates the interest in it because there is more human rights issues that might be involved” says Eastridge.

Conversations that bring uneasiness to those who are affected.

“It’s generally understood that a lot of the immigrant community is unnerved and they’re anxious about what’s going on” says Eastridge.

Event organizers say – they hope events like this will bring awareness…

“We can start right here in the Tri-Cities-locally, effecting a change” says Joy Eastridge.

…and bring understanding.

“We have to look carefully at our hearts and not to become overwhelmed by our fears” says Joy Eastridge.

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