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GOP Lawmakers File Illegal Immigration Bills

Press Release from The Tennessee House Republican Caucus, Feb. 16, 2011:

NASHVILLE, February 16, 2010) – Flanked by Senate Republican leaders Bill Ketron, Jack Johnson, and Jim Tracy, Representative Joe Carr (R–Lascassas) today unveiled a comprehensive plan to combat illegal immigration in Tennessee.

The plan calls for three distinct principles to address different areas of the law that need to be strengthened in order for private businesses and State and local law enforcement agencies to have the authority to effectively deal with illegal immigration.

“I believe this plan, utilizing three separate pieces of legislation, is the best way to bring a Tennessee solution to a Tennessee problem that has been mandated by 72 percent of Tennesseans,” said Carr, the Chairman of the House Illegal Immigration Task Force.

“By taking a comprehensive approach that targets three distinct areas of the law, we can bring the reform demanded by so many of our citizens. I believe this plan will place Tennessee at the forefront of State efforts to combat illegal immigration and provide a blueprint for other States to follow.”

At a press briefing held in the Capitol this afternoon, Rep. Carr discussed the details of the legislative strategy while each Senator responsible for the legislation detailed the plans for their respective bills.

Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Rep. Carr authored the “Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act”. This legislation says:

  • In the course of a lawful stop, State and local law enforcement must determine the legal status of the individual in question.
  • Upon determination of the status and if the individual is determined to have unlawful status, authorities must detain and turn over the individual to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and Rep. Carr introduced the “Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act.” This bill provides:

  • State agencies are authorized to verify the lawful status of an alien in Tennessee.
  • Any person found to be an unlawful alien is prohibited from receiving any benefits.

Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Rep. Carr wrote the “Tennessee Lawful Employment Act”. This act will:

  • Require all employers–both public and private–to submit the names and Social Security numbers of employees hired after October 1, 2011 to the federal Department of Homeland Security for verification.
  • The “E-Verify” system is 97.4 percent accurate.
  • Currently, there are approximately 4,000 Tennessee businesses participating in the E-Verify system.

Each of these will be filed in the House and Senate today.