Another Bill With Goal Of Mitigating Flow Of Illegals Into Tennessee Killed By GOP Establishment Controlled Senate Judiciary

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee killed another bill that would have worked toward impacting the unmitigated flow of illegal aliens into the state of Tennessee.  

Senate Judiciary Chairman, Todd Gardenhire (R-D10-Chattanooga) took the bill off notice before its sponsor, had the opportunity to present it in committee for discussion and a vote. 

The bill was sent to the ‘General Subcommittee’ of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This action, that legislators refer to as ‘general subbed’, is a way that a bill can be killed during a session without committee members being exposed to the transparency that comes with an actual vote.

The bill, Senate Bill 2034 (SB2034), sponsored by Senator Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains-District 8), is strikingly similar to a bill that was very recently shot down by the Senate Judiciary Committee

SB2034 “As introduced, increases, from $1,000 to $5,000, the fine for transporting into the state, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, an individual who the person knows or should have known has illegally entered or remained in the United States, as determined by the bureau of immigration and customs enforcement of the United States department of homeland security. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 12; Title 39; Title 50 and Title 67.”

The House companion bill (HB2432) is sponsored by Representative Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville-District 17).

It has been assigned to the House Banking & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee but had not been slated on their calendar, and now will not be scheduled as the legislative process for this bill has come to an abrupt end. 

Representative Bryan Richey (R-Maryville-District 20) and Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald-District 28) sponsored a very similar bill, but it did not make it past committee considerations. That bill would have also increased penalties for the transportation of illegal aliens into the state by amending a current statute and raising the fine from $1,000 to $5,000 per individual.

In the hearing for Sen. Hensley’s bill (SB2802) at the end of March, when presented to the committee by Hensley, Senator Gardenhire expressed his exasperation, seemingly, at his constituents, as his remarks reflect, for “demanding that we make it so draconian and punish these people so bad, that I figured well that sounds reasonable, so the amendment that I have offered for this bill says that violations of this section is a Class A Felony”. 

A class A felony in the state of Tennessee carries a criminal penalty of imprisonment for a period of 15 to 60 years and a requirement to pay a fine of up to $50,000.

While there may be some that would still have supported this type of penalty, the severity of it being applied to anyone that may not have a choice but to transport individuals into Tennessee because it is a function of their employment, caused the bill to lose enough support that it died in committee. 

Gardenhire has served in his capacity as state senator since 2012,  making it hard to imagine that with that amount of experience, he would not have anticipated what the inclusion of his amendment would have produced. 

This week, Gardenhire dispensed with any such fastidiousness, and simply took SB2034 off notice, removing it from the agenda all together before the meeting even got started. 

Since this is likely the last week of committee hearings, and the fate of all the bills that are left to be heard will be decided this week, any other efforts to try and do something substantial about the illegal immigration problem in Tennessee will have to be taken up next year. 

For those who have questions or concerns for Representative Gardenhire and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you can find their contact information below. 

Senate Judiciary Committee:

Todd Gardenhire (R) –  – (615)7 41-6682

Sara Kyle (D) – – (615) 741-4167

London Lamar (D) – – (615) 741-2509

Jon Lundberg (R) – – (615) 741-5761

Kerry Roberts (R) – – (615) 741-4499

Paul Rose (R) – – (615) 741-1967

John Stevens (R) – – (615) 741-4576

Brent Taylor (R) – – (615) 741-3036

Dawn White (R) – – (615) 741-6853,,,,,,,,

About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member.  Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at

12 thoughts on “Another Bill With Goal Of Mitigating Flow Of Illegals Into Tennessee Killed By GOP Establishment Controlled Senate Judiciary

  • April 4, 2024 at 4:07 pm

    It’s time the citizens of Tennessee, and of America at large, STOP voting for someone simply because they place an “R” next to their name. Democrats brag about running as Republicans in Tennessee and getting elected. Then they govern as democrats for years and we re-elect them. We must wake up.

  • April 4, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    this is why i will never vote again

    • April 4, 2024 at 4:29 pm

      Ricky, just when we need every conservative to step up and do what they can to get the centrists and tepid conservatives out of office you decide to “never vote again.” Now really Ricky, does that sound reasonable to you assuming you are a conservative.

      • April 4, 2024 at 7:17 pm

        I totally agree with Stuart Anderson. Refusing to “ever vote again” is a ridiculous position especially when the Tennessee Conservative News makes the effort to publish phone numbers and emails of the RINOs. Hopefully Ricky will realize that it’s not just about him. It’s about his state, his family and friends.

    • April 4, 2024 at 4:42 pm

      My friend, that is not the answer. Do your homework and exercise your right to make a difference before they take even that right away from you.

    • April 5, 2024 at 2:58 pm

      That is the mindset that will collapse the Republic. Stay in the fight, continue to communicate with your elected representatives, replace those that need to be replaced. Run for office yourself, If we keep doing what we have been doing, we will keep getting what we have been getting. If you decide to give up, it will be even worse.

  • April 4, 2024 at 4:39 pm

    Please don’t get mad at old Todd Gardenhire (TLRC 67/B-). He’s up for reelection this fall and Ed LeCompte is challenging Todd in the Republican primary. Simply use your anger at Todd to send a check to Ed so he can get the word out to the voters of the 10th District of just how much damage their state senator has caused during his term in office.

  • April 4, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    The law criminalizing the transportation of illegal aliens into the state has been in the Tennessee Code since 2007 and has NEVER been enforced. It’s not like the authority to address the problem isn’t there and simply raising the penalty amount doesn’t make it more enforceable. Farmer and Nicely aren’t serious about this – they just need something to talk about when they run for their seats this year. In fact, both of these legislators in 2015 voted to give in-state tuition to illegal alien students and in 2022 they both voted to give illegal aliens in TN commercial and professional licenses. So who really believes either one of them is serious about illegal immigration to the state?

    • April 4, 2024 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you for bringing up the history of this discussion. We should have held these “Republicans” accountable a long time ago…

  • April 4, 2024 at 8:34 pm

    This is the year to go RINO hunting, no excuses, Brandon works hard creating that list so we don’t have to spend a lot of time researching who is and who isn’t. R’s have really become “controlled opposition” and it is glaring now. If you don’t have values or a spine, you fall right into line.

  • April 4, 2024 at 10:04 pm

    Past time to RUN these RINO’s out of TN. on a rail. America is fed up with this B.S.


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