Gardenhire says resettlement of migrant children is being ‘politicized’

Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), center, attends a hearing in Nashville on Jan. 30, 2018. At left is Sen. Ed Jackson (R-Jackson) and at right is Sen, Paul Bailey (R-Sparta). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) has written an op-ed published in newspapers around the state that criticizes fellow Republicans for “politicizing the issue of taking care of children and putting them with caring families and sponsors.”

“Shutting our doors locally will only prolong the suffering of these children and their families by keeping them apart and in detention centers along the border instead of in licensed shelters and facilities which specialize in caring for immigrant children,” Gardenhire writes.

Read the op-ed below:

I have just been appointed to a special joint committee of the Tennessee legislature by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally to study the issues surrounding migrant children being brought into Tennessee.

I requested this assignment because the facility in Highland Park in question is in my district. I have known about this for several months and have spoken to Rev. Kevin Wallace about any help I can offer for the care of these children.

My hope is for us to look at — as Sgt. Joe Friday from the 1950s TV show “Dragnet” says — “Just the facts, ma’am,” and not get caught up in the politicizing the issue of taking care of children and putting them with caring families and sponsors.

Almost two years ago, I went on a mission trip with three other members of Chattanooga churches plus an interpreter to a Red Zone state, Chiapas, in southwest Mexico on the border of Guatemala. What I saw were situations that any person with common sense would want their children to leave and not come back. I have heard friends criticize the person shown on the news recently dropping her two very young children over a wall so they could be in America. I’m reminded of a Levite woman named Jochebed who did a similar thing thousands of years ago to save the life of her son so he would not be killed. Her son’s name was Moses. Was Moses’ perfect? No. Did God use him to change the world and the Israeli people? Yes.

We need to separate rhetoric from the facts. We need to separate the issue of the border fiasco and how these individuals came to our border from the by-product of the children in the custody of the U.S. government.

Forty-plus years ago, we faced the same issue with Cambodian refugees being brought to America right after the Vietnam War. There was a lot of resistance to having “those people” brought here. More than 100 were settled here in Chattanooga by area churches. They faced the same unfortunate public outcry as we see today.

But think about this: The first flight arrived in Chattanooga last month and two children were reunited with loved ones here while six others were transferred to the shelter.

The mission of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) facilitating the reunification process is to safely care for unaccompanied children until they are able to be placed with a vetted sponsor, usually a parent or close relative.

As part of the unification process, ORR is facilitating travel for the children in its custody to their sponsors to prevent any delays. Their parents and relatives are located across the United States, and ORR contractors use a variety of transportation modes to reunite unaccompanied children with their families. Those methods, which include air and ground transportation, take into account child safety and wellness, travel time and cost effectiveness.

Shutting our doors locally will only prolong the suffering of these children and their families by keeping them apart and in detention centers along the border instead of in licensed shelters and facilities which specialize in caring for immigrant children.

These children leave their homes and travel more than 2,500 miles for weeks and months to come to America because their home countries are dangerous, impoverished and unsafe.

My father’s ancestors came to America from Germany in the early 1700s. On my mother’s side, I’m an 8th generation born in the city of Chattanooga; her family also came from Germany. If your ancestors were immigrants, you should welcome people who want to be here.

I would ask our elected officials not to beat up on children; stay focused on the real problem (the border fiasco) and not the by-product. Tennessee is not obligated to provide any benefits to these children, but it’s the right thing to do. That will be part of the special committee’s discussion.

53 Responses to Gardenhire says resettlement of migrant children is being ‘politicized’

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Good for him!! About time some Republicans started showing leadership AND A HEART!!! We can take care of whoever sends us immigrants and refugees. China has three times more people and we have as much land and MORE money. Immigrants made this country and will keep it.

    • Avatar
      Karen Bracken says:

      These are not immigrants or refugees. These are illegals who are breaking out laws and entering our country illegally. you might now mind working to pay for these people but I surely do mind. You should try to cross over to the Mexican border illegally and see how “nice” they treat you. They punish law breakers in Mexico. Gardenhire should have been voted out of office years ago. He is a liberal RINO. Why doesn’t he open up his home to these people if he feels so deeply about them. By the states paying for these people we are supporting law breakers.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        He ran in 2020 and I don’t believe he was seriously challenged in the Republican primary. Gardenhire (ACU-84%) isn’t otherwise that bad but he has a seriously flaw when it comes to illegals which is issue #1 for me. What’s the matter with Chattanooga area Republicans? Bleeding Heart Gardenhire, tepid conservative Fleischman (Hertitage-75%) in Congress. It’s a shame they can’t do any better than this.

        • Avatar
          Cryan says:

          Here he is — Stuart I. Anderson, a Dixiecrat-wannabe Northern transplant who thinks it’s cool to be Authoritarian Right while pretending to be Libertarian Right and doesn’t understand the liberal history of East Tennessee and that those Republicans aren’t today’s Republicans.

          What’s the matter with “Bleeding Heart Chattanooga”? The answer to your dumbass question is in the history of the Grand Division in which his district is located.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            None of that matters. Only his ACU rating. One of the dumbing down of America’s toolbox favorites.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        I didn’t mean to leave you on such a sour note Karen. I hope you noticed that the new Congressman from FAR EAST TENNESSEE Diana Harshbarger (Heritage-100%!) is doing a fabulous job as she replaced terrible Phil Roe (Heritage-68%) and remember Tim Burchett (Heritage-97%) replaced John Duncan (Heritage-80%). The Chattanooga area seems to be behind the rest of EAST TENNESSEE as the Republican Party of Tennessee moves RIGHTWARD, RIGHTWARD, RESOLUTELY RIGHTWARD.

        • Avatar
          Cryan says:

          Weren’t you just bitching about Knoxville being a liberal ghetto? That’s in EAST TENNESSEE.

          Knox County on the other hand is run by Trump’s fellow WrestleMania Hall of Fame inductee Glenn “KANE” Jacobs (Heritage, ACU, WWE, WWF, and MAGA – 💯)

    • Avatar
      Taxpayer #314 says:

      Amen Beatrice, well said. I agree 100%.

      • Avatar
        Beatrice Shaw says:

        I don’t know if Maury County will elect an African American…but maybe I should try?

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Of course you should try Beatrice. I am sure there isn’t exactly a long line around the county courthouse of leftists just dying to seek office in a good conservative community like Maury County. Given your politics you don’t have a prayer of getting elected, but you should run and get out and meet some of the nice conservatives in Maury County who are your neighbors and will be polite and friendly because after all, they are conservatives. And think how lucky you are being a far left candidate running in a definitively conservative community against what treatment you could expect if you were a conservative zealot running in a community of leftist loons.

        • Avatar
          Taxpayer #314 says:

          Wow, what a condescending sub-par political comment Stuart. I am surprised how low you will go after all your self expressed high standards. It is comments like this that embarrass conservatives and make them want to find another party. First it was flat-out corruption and more recently the party has glorified sexual deviates and now they are moving on to lies and really dirty tricks to actually subvert our democracy with gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics. After all this conservative nastiness, then in your comments above, you advise that “you should run and get out and meet some of the nice conservatives in Maury County who are your neighbors and will be polite and friendly because after all, they are conservatives.”

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    Yes….let’s go back to the Financial rules of the 1700’s. I WELCOME IT. No income tax; no food stamps; no subsidized housing and the thousands of other corporate or personal financial transfers.

    When we roll back the COSTS of our current system then we can roll back our immigration system to a no-borders free for all.

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    Fox News: NoBoDy WaNtS tO wOrK aNyMoRe!!!

    Guatamalen refugee risking life and family to be legally processed at the border: I’ll do it!

    Fox News: Go away, rapist!

    Big Agriculture: We actually make more money NOT planting anything. Farm subsidies!

    Chamber of Commerce: “(Shit, we need immigrants, but GQP can’t win an election without a culture war) Yeah, NoBoDy WaNtS tO wOrK aNyMoRe!!!”

    Middle-aged Republican on SSI disability: NoBoDy WaNtS tO wOrK aNyMoRe!!! Oh, what do I do? I took an early retirement and sit around watching Fox News all day. Damn immigrants.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Resettlement, immigration, asylum, …. the Federal government is in charge and there is little the state can do.

  • Avatar
    Gerald Crawford says:

    I count myself as an independent but, like many people have an opinion on these recent news reports. I’m also from McAllen, TX, and have seen many of the situations these “illegals” must endure. Bottom line, they are just people looking for a better life. They have no politics and will work in jobs for wages you and I would never consider. Such a shame some of us seem to take great joy in politicizing, looking down on, and belittling them. None of us are very far removed from similar roots in this country. While not a huge fan of his, I applaud Sen Gardenhire’s op-ed.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      People who shoplift, commit B&E’s, carjack etc are also just looking for a better life. Legal vs illegal is the key here. And the US taxpayer has a right to expect people to abide by the rules; to do otherwise is costing all of us dearly in enforcement, adjudication among so many other costs.

      And I for one am getting sick and tired of it. Perhaps it matters how much a person actually pays in Federal Income Taxes as to whether they give a Da–.

      • Avatar
        Taxpayer #314 says:

        Marle, one could argue that the grifting conservatives and republicans are costing the USA much more than the hard working immigrants that you belittle and rage against.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          And you’ve seen me defending grifter conservatives and their policies? Really??? When??????

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          But you are right about one thing. If you have “home-grown” legal citizens, who by law have a right to be here, costing taxpayers needlessly then you Certainly don’t need to add to the problem with those breaking the immigration laws.

      • Avatar
        Eddie White says:

        When Trump w was as in office the fence was being built, ICE supported, illegal aliens returned to their country of origin, and all this bogus conservative blowhard could do was tell us how horrible Trump was. Now this bogus conservative is whining about the illegal immigration under the Biden administration and how horrible it is. What a self inflated idiot.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      No Gerald, it is with sadness we are “. . . politicizing, looking down on, and belittling. . .” the policy of the federal government and the leftists who control it for doing little or nothing to stop the flow of unskilled, uneducated illegal immigrants into this country in the hope that they will form a vast government dependent underclass that will eventually be able to vote and when they do vote dependably for the party of government, the Democratic Party. In addition, we are “. . .politicizing, looking down on etc. etc.” big business that is international in scope and whose executives are “citizens of the world” who care little about the long-term welfare of this country so long as they have a ready supply of compliant, cheap labor. Of course, our feelings about the Republicans who do so little about illegal immigration when they are in power earn our contempt, rather than of “politicking, etc. etc.” Finally, we are “. . .politicizing, looking down on, etc. etc.” so many of our fellow Americans who are so oblivious to the game the Democrats and Big Business are playing so while they realize the destructiveness of, and are opposed to, open borders, they simply can’t bestir themselves to go to the polls and do something about it.

      As for “. . .politicizing, looking down on, etc. etc.” illegal immigrants AU CONTRAIRE Gerald. Plopping themselves into the USA and getting a job/gov’t welfare/bleeding heart’s assistance immediately results in their standard of living and perhaps safety dramatically increasing which makes them, by far, the wisest and most rational group in this sad story of national disintegration.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    As Henry II might have said “Will no one rid us of these bleeding heart pabulum spine Republicans?” How can the Republican Party ever hope to govern this country as a serious alternative to the Democrats with the Most Rev. Gardenhire and Rt. Rev Lee in government rather than very, very far away doing missionary work that is their true calling.

    There are seven billion people on this earth, just how many are to come to the United States. I know, just enough to make the Democratic Party the one and only party that governs this country. Please join me in moving the Republican Party RIGHTWARD! RIGHTWARD! RESOLUTELY RIGHTWARD!

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      The only option is to vote 💪 Glenn “KANE” Jacobs for governor.

      🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 WrestleMania 2022 Bill Lee Smackdown 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨

  • Avatar
    Larry Linton says:

    So, we are to cheer on publicly, meaning government, forced charity? We do not have a heart if we are against an invasion of illegal aliens, especially if they are children? My goodness the hypocrisy is ripe in some of these comments. Comparing children dropped over the border to Moses is absolute garbage. Moses faced certain death by Pharaoh’s order and was placed in the Nile for a chance at survival. These children are fleeing only poverty, and being escorted over hundreds of miles by human traffickers for a guaranteed good life funded by the citizens’ sweat equity in the most prosperous country in the world. Being united with other family members who came to this country illegally. If this madness is allowed to stand, it continues to enforce the notion that we are only a nation of laws in word only. All of you people cheering this on put YOUR money where you mouth is and travel to those foreign countries and adopt the children and provide them real, personal charity. Do not continue to endorse this forced at the end of gun charity provided by government. If you think that is hyperbole, go ahead and refuse to pay taxes and see where you land and how you are escorted there. It will be jail and the escort will be armed law enforcement. This is sickening and not how our Republic was designed to operate.

  • Avatar
    LeeAnn C says:

    My word, Senator Gardenhire hasn’t been listening or has selective hearing! NO ONE is “beating up” on the children! The issue is a blind and dumb federal administration that is allowing an illegal invasion of the southern border. For the very scant few that are bring shipped all over the place in the dead of night, there are thousands with NO plan, evil drug cartels manipulating families and children, children being totally abandoned at the border after having been used to cross, who knows how many neglected, abused or killed along the journey. Senator Gardenhire needs to go to the border for a fresher perspective of the crisis situation. Hold your fire for those responsible for creating this mess and leave the truth bearers alone! No one has had any information about where these unaccompanied minors are going or who is caring for them. We need answers, not finger-pointing and misplaced sympathy.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Chill out and watch Ray Stevens – Come to the USA
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/WgOHOHKBEqE

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Well done Ray! Nice sing-song about how we and the rest of western civilization is simply too stupid to survive. So we won’t. Come on Republicans just tap on the brake a few times, that’s all I need.

  • Avatar
    steve cates says:

    I am so happy to see this and find a republican with a heart. I welcome these young people and wish them well.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I bet you are steve, sort of like Carl Marx was happy to find idiot capitalists who will sell Communists the rope that the they will use to hang capitalists.

      • Avatar
        Taxpayer #314 says:

        The party of NO is once again trotting out the negatives – their typical reaction to anything positive.

  • Avatar
    Karen Bracken says:

    Gardenhire should have been voted out of office years ago. Perhaps we need to verify his votes. TN has election fraud too folks.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    HEY TENNESSEE CONGRATULATIIONS!!!! We’re getting our THIRD leftist ghetto and the entire country knows it. Knoxville, Tennessee governed by far left lunatic Democrat Indya Kincannon & Co. apparently is on its way to becoming a dystopia like so many other cities governed by left wing lunatics. This very night the growing murder rate in Knoxville was featured by Tucker on his program (FOX NEWS 7 PM) as another Tennessee city is rapidly going downhill.

    Isolate those leftists in their leftist ghettos Tennesseans. Keep that Tennessee Democratic Party small and insignificant!

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    WOW, One republican with a heart and an open mind speaks up and all the conservatives go into a hate rage against him. This is why today, the public believes the Republican Party is so totally out-of-touch with reality and the beliefs of the majority of the US population. The conservatives and the republican’s ARE the MINORITY in this country yet they ACT like, and want you to believe, that they are a huge majority. And these hater comments are part of the reason why.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      In the House with 435 members there are 219 D and 211 Republicans;

      in the Senate there are 48 Dems with 2 Independent who caucuses with them and 50 Republicans

      Not Exactly a Republican debacle considering the trouble Republicans have suffered under Trump. America is not a Leftist country. Not by a long shot.

      • Avatar
        James White says:

        Marle, how many of the 10 planks of communism have been implemented in our country?

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          My comment was in response to Taxpayer who suggested the Republican party was washed up and that America had overwhelmingly chosen Dem policies.

          So I am not sure what on earth your question is supposed to be getting to.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            You indicated that the country is not a leftist country.. I disagree.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            I guess I should have said Bernie Sanders Leftist. I know you think most Moderate Rep are leftist and ALL Dems are.

            Trump and all his lap dog republicans are not Conservatives. They are elitist crony capitalist who want just as much spending as Dems, just as much repression of thought, just as much wealth transfer…..they just want to put the bill on a credit card financed by low ball interest rates manipulated by the Fed.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            You are correct about the spending. I did like two or three things Trump was doing – get us out of the climate agreements, get us out of no win wars, get us out of some of the UN organizations and building the fence….
            But yes, Washington DC want to spend trillions that are not even there…

          • Avatar
            Taxpayer #314 says:

            I didn’t say “the party was washed up,” I said the party numbers are going down, in fact diving.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      In addition, currently there are 27 Republican Governors vs. 23 Democrats, 1,091 Republican State Senators vs. 867 Democrats, and 2,918 Republicans in state lower houses vs. 2,450 Democrats.
      It all goes back to my warning on another thread about the danger of reading offerings by leftists on this forum and how if one is not careful it can lead to an actual diminution in one’s storehouse of knowledge if not one’s IQ. Leftists live in a fantasy land in which they create their own reality then analyze the world from that fictitious “reality.” Interesting up to a point, but as I said, readers always have to be on guard against the undesirable side effects from consuming too much of that stuff.

    • Avatar
      Eddie White says:

      Your point is well taken Taxpayer . The Democrats took total control of Washington this last election helped along by tepid Republicans and bogus conservatives.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        All the “help” the Dems needed showed up in a 3-month temper tantrum that lost the Georgia run offs and that was provided by Trump. HE, not Republicans, lost us the all-important stop gap known as the Senate.

        Thank God for Manchin and for Biden not vilifying him morning, noon and night in threatening and personally degrading barrages of tweets and sound bites.

        The best thing FB and Twitter could do if they were run by Leftists, would be to allow Trump back on their platforms to remind us of what we’ve been missing. Trump banned from twitter and FB is one of the biggest assets R have going into the mid terms.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        ______________________________
        Glad you’re on MARLE it gives me a chance to let you know that I now find your friends at CNBC so Culti-Marxi that it has really become unwatchable. It’s all I can do to steel myself to watching an hour between 11AM and noon. I don’t know how you can bear it.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          R you kidding me? I only watch the morning 2 shows and compared to the Fox alternative with Maria, who goes solo thus unopposed in her gushy daily tributes to all things Trump, they are a bastion of balance.

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    Ok little parrot…..I never said one thing negative about Trump’s immigration policies. Not once, not ever. Way to set up a straw man. I voted for Trump, little parrot BOTH TIMES, so I did prefer Trump’s immigration policies to ANY democrat’s.

    Are u really this dense? All you keep saying is that I am not a Republican voter and that is NOT true. Lying is really all you got….Little Parrot. You do better when you simply parrot Stuart who at least is not lying about my voting record.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    There can be no comparison to the constant outright lies and misleading statements that come from the FOX channel. Not even close!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *