Image Credit: Dade County Sheriff’s Office / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Reports indicate that recent sightings of busloads of immigrants in the Chattanooga area are pit stops on their way from Texas to Washington D.C.
In response to Texas and Arizona mayors complaints about running out of money to support the influx of illegal aliens across the border, both state’s Republican governors, Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey respectively, ordered that illegal aliens must sign waivers that would allow them to be transported across the country and dropped off in Washington D.C.
As of August 8th, more than 150 buses traveling from Arizona and Texas have transported thousands of illegal immigrants to the nation’s capital. Since April, Texas alone has transported over 6,800 individuals to D.C. It appears that the Chattanooga area has become a pit stop for some of those buses en route.
In Tennessee, legislation with a similar aim was introduced by Representative Bruce Griffey and Senator Frank Niceley during the last session of the General Assembly with the end goal of transporting illegal aliens to the home states of Biden, Harris, Pelosi and Schumer. However, the bill failed in the House Department and Agencies Subcommittee when no representatives offered a second to move the bill forward.
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On Friday morning of last week (August 12th), The Tennessee Conservative received a report that buses filled with what appeared to be illegal aliens were having layovers at the Comfort Inn just west of downtown Chattanooga at 3117 Parker Lane.
The gentleman who sent us the report said, “My wife and I witnessed one Hispanic male being arrested or detained in front of the McDonald’s next door. I told the Chattanooga officer I had seen the guy sitting there since lunch. This was round 6pm. The officer said he told them someone was supposed to pick him up to take him to work but he didn’t speak any English. They had to get an interpreter. CPD took him away. Two other females who had been there at lunch were taken away in cars . The buses that have been transporting them were back at the Comfort Inn this morning as I went to work.”
The evening of August 12th, Ellis Smith, Director of Special Projects for the Office of Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly issued this statement, that can be attributed to Joda Thongnopnua, Chattanooga’s Chief of Staff:
“We are aware that Chattanooga is apparently a stopping point for charter buses sent by the State of Texas to the East Coast carrying migrants following the legal process of asylum. We are coordinating a multi-agency response to ensure these individuals are able to connect with their families and safely arrive at their final destinations. This administration will respond with compassion to vulnerable people fleeing extremely difficult circumstances.”
“It’s important to understand that these are migrants who have been screened by the Department of Homeland Security and are legally seeking asylum—which is a protected legal status.”
As reported by Fox News, a McDonald’s employee called police after a busload of ‘migrants’ headed to the East Coast from Texas pulled into a Chattanooga neighborhood for a pit stop and began panhandling.
Chattanooga Police told WTVC that buses carrying ‘migrants’ from Texas to Washington D.C. and New York City have been pulling off in Chattanooga at the Comfort Inn on Parker Lane.
Fox News also attributes these stopovers in Chattanooga to the decision made by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to send these buses of ‘migrants’ to Washington D.C.
However, it is possible that all of these ‘migrants’ are not making the trip all the way to the nation’s capital.
Just last week in Dade County, Georgia which borders Tennessee’s Hamilton County, the County Sheriff’s office received a call that tour buses were dropping off illegal immigrants at the Pilot station in Rising Fawn.
Sheriff Cross went to the Pilot station and immediately observed a tour bus which appeared to be dropping off subjects at that location.
According to a post on the Dade County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page, Sheriff Cross approached the subjects and found that the bus was transporting illegal immigrants from Texas, en route to Washington, DC. The bus driver advised that this was one of their stops along their route, and several illegal immigrants had already decided to get off the bus and end their trip in Rising Fawn.
Based on Sheriff Cross’ conversation with the bus driver, it appeared as if the illegal immigrants were being encouraged to exit the bus at this location, with the impression that Chattanooga was within walking distance.
Sheriff Cross immediately got a translator, and created dialogue with the illegal immigrants, as well as the bus staff. After a short discussion with all the parties involved, the illegal immigrants chose to get back on the bus and continue their journey out of Dade County, and on to Washington, D.C.
Sheriff Cross spoke to the owner of the bus line and requested that he encourage his drivers not to drop off illegal immigrants in the rural areas of Dade County, where they have no resources, but preferably in a larger city, where resources are more readily available.
Sheriff Cross immediately contacted state legislators, as well as the governor’s office, and made them aware of the situation. Georgia State Representative Mike Cameron contacted Sheriff Cross later in the afternoon and told him that the governor’s office advised that they also contacted the owner of the bus line, and agreed with Sheriff Cross’ recommendation to not drop off migrants in Dade County.
Meanwhile, reports have come in that in Sevier County, for four days straight last week, a local Health department was standing-room-only due to a flood of non-English speaking children being pushed through in order to rush their immunizations and be enrolled in local schools.
Concerns have been raised that this may have kept local students from being able to get their required immunizations for attending school.
Wayne Miller, Humphrey County GOP chair, sent information about this situation to a list of Conservatives and copied Representative Jay Reedy and Senator Kerry Roberts with the information.
At the time of publication, the elected officials had not responded to Miller’s communications.
Miller said, “These children bring an extreme health risk to the children in the classrooms and all of the education staff who will have to be directly involved with these children. This is a public health risk to the children, teachers, parents and the entire communities who have to support them.”
The Tennessee Conservative is still collecting information for the Sevier County portion of this story and will update as we discover new information.
In addition to Rep. Griffey’s bill mentioned previously, several other pieces of legislation were introduced in the last session of the General Assembly concerning illegal immigration. However, the only ones that passed were either not helpful in curbing the influx of illegal immigrants into the Volunteer State or served as another magnet to bring more illegals to the state.
As outlined in The Tennessee Conservative’s RINO Report, these are the illegal immigration bills that passed and failed the General Assembly last session:
• Opening Door For Non-U.S. Citizens To Receive Professional Licenses In TN
HB2309 / SB2464 – Law paves the way for non-U.S. citizens to obtain professional and commercial licenses in the Volunteer state; increasing magnets for illegal aliens to migrate to and successfully habitate in the Volunteer State. Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Democrat Bob Freeman in the House and Republican Shane Reeves in the Senate.
Status: 34 House Republicans voted in favor of House Bill 2309, while 15 Senate Republicans voted in favor of Senate Bill 2464. Governor Bill Lee had the power to veto the bill, but signed it into law only four days after it reached his desk.
• E-Verify Bill To Weaken Job Magnets For Illegal Aliens In Tennessee
HB1636 / SB2297 – Legislation sought to require employers of six or more individuals to utilize an e-verification program in hiring; remove immunity for an employer’s reliance on other forms of verification; and prescribed penalties for employers found to be in violation. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Bruce Griffey in the House and Sen. Mark Pody in the Senate.
Status: Deferred to ‘Summer Study’ in the House Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee. Motion to move to summer study made by Rep. Clark Boyd citing preference for his own E-verify bill that, after amendments, only lowered employee threshold from current 50 to 35, prescribed no disciplinary action and fines for businesses/individuals that are found to be in violation and would not ask that employers use the E-verify system to verify the work authorization status of employees unless they are hired on or after January 1st, 2023.
• Allowing Local Law Officials To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws
HB2222/ SB2264 – Legislation sought to give local law enforcement the authority to enforce federal law and arrest anyone transporting, harboring or facilitating the transport of illegal aliens into Tennessee. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Dennis Powers in the House and Sen. Frank Niceley in the Senate.
Status: Failed in Senate Judiciary Committee with Republican Senators Mike Bell, Todd Gardenhire and John Stevens voting against.
• Stopping Tennessee Taxpayer Education Funding Of Illegal Aliens
HB1648 / SB2597 – Legislation sought to stop taxpayers from being forced to fund education for illegal immigrants. Give school systems the choice of whether they wanted to enroll students who are unlawfully in the United States. School districts who choose to do so would no longer receive state funding for those students, leaving them responsible for any costs associated with educating those children. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Bruce Griffey in the House and Sen. Joey Hensley in the Senate.
Status: Failed in the House K-12 Subcommittee with Republican Representatives Kirk Haston, Mark White and Chris Hurt voting against.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com