immigration

Anti-immigration group attacks Lee’s voucher proposal

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at an economic development announcement in Nashville on March 20, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

An anti-immigration group says Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed voucher program would be available to students who aren’t authorized to be in the country.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for curbing both legal and illegal immigration into the United States, cites the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe of 1982, which established that states must offer public education to all children, regardless of their immigration status.

According to the group:

Despite his promise to dry up incentives attracting illegal aliens to the United States, Governor Lee’s Education Savings Plan will inevitably provide school vouchers for illegal aliens. Vouchers use taxpayer funds and the Plyler holding prohibits school systems from determining which students are illegally in the U.S. Therefore, taxpayer monies can and will be provided for vouchers for illegal aliens.

House panel kills resolution calling for end to birthright citizenship

A resolution to comment President Donald Trump’s call to end birthright citizenship has died in the House Constitutional Protections & Sentencing Subcommittee.

The  panel voted 4-3 on Wednesday to reject the measure sponsored by freshman Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris), the AP reports. Three Republicans and one Democrat voted against the resolution.

Griffey’s resolution calls for ending what it calls “the illegitimate, unauthorized, and illegal practice of bestowing citizenship to those born within the boundaries of our great country whose presence constitutes a violation of United States law and breach of the sovereignty of this Nation.”

Rep. Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville) said “God help us” if lawmakers advanced a  the resolution telling people born in the U.S. that they aren’t citizens.

Bill would target landlords of people in U.S. without authorization

The House is advancing legislation targeting landlords who rent to people without proper authorization to be in the country, the AP’s Jonathan Mattise reports. 

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) who saw the defeat of another one of his measures seeking to help fund President Donald Trump’s border wall through fees charged on international money transfers from people in Tennessee who can’t present a driver’s license.

The landlord vote advanced out of the House Business Subcommittee on a 5-1 vote. It now heads to the full Commerce Committee.

Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, policy director at Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, condemned the legislation.

“Representative Griffey’s despicable bill seeks to strip the most basic of human needs from hardworking Tennesseans– the roof over their heads.,” she said in a release. “The bill puts thousands of children at risk of homelessness and harm,  and detrimentally affects their health and their ability to get an education.”

Bredesen touts role in sending Tennessee Guard to border

A new ad from Democrat Phil Bredesen’s Senate campaign touts his decision to send Tennessee National Guard troops to the border when he was governor in 2006.

“When the president said he needed help to secure the border, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen didn’t wait to be asked. And he didn’t play any politics,” the narrator says in the ad. “Governor Bredesen took immediate action and sent 1,600 Tennessee National Guard volunteers to the border.”

The ad follows a commercial run by Republican Marsha Blackburn criticizing Bredesen for suggesting that a caravan of migrants doesn’t pose a security threat to the strongest country in the world. Blackburn’s ad says the caravan includes “gang members, known criminals, people from the Middle East. Possibly even terrorists.”

 

Black makes another immigration proposal in Congress

With early voting set to get underway in the gubernatorial primary on Friday, Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black has filed a bill seeking to make the act of illegally entering the United States a felony. That would be up from the current misdemeanor level, which is punishable by six months’ incarceration.

Black in May introduced a separate bill to crowdfund the construction of a wall on Mexican border.

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Corker’s latest Trump critique: ‘Ready, fire, aim’ policy on immigration

Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker says that the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that forced many families to be separated at the U.S border was implemented in a “ready, fire, aim way” and is not a “realistic” way to enforce immigration laws, reports CBS News.

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Bredesen ‘horrified’ by separation of illegal immigrant parents from children; Blackburn blames liberals

Statements from U.S. Senate candidates Marsha Blackburn, Republican, and Phil Bredesen, Democrat, as reported by The Tennessean, on separation of children from their parents when detained at the U.S.-Mexico when suspected of trying to enter the country illegally:

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Protesters disrupt Roe campaign event; he vows to ‘bury’ Democrats

Over a dozen people protesting President Trump’s immigration policies “crashed” U.S. Rep. Phil Roe’s official announcement of his re-election campaign Monday, reports the Johnson City Press. One of them was a Democrat seeking her party’s nomination for the 1st Congressional seat. Roe subsequently told supporters he wants to “bury” Democrats in November.

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Alexander and Corker: Stop separating parents and children detained at U.S. border

Statements from U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on the Trump administration policy of separating children detained at the U.S./Mexico border from their parents, as reported by the Times Free Press:

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Haslam on race to replace him: Lots of talk on illegal immigration, not so much on education

In a speech to the Collierville Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, Gov. Bill Haslam suggested that the candidates running to replace him are overly focused on things that don’t have much to do with being governor, like illegal immigration, and not so much on matters where a governor can have impact, like education and the TNReady testing system or TennCare financing.

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