Image Credit: Governor Bill Lee / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes and Jason Vaughn] –
On Tuesday, Governor Bill Lee announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to release “single adult detainees” into Tennessee while they wait for their turn in court.
Lee said In a statement to Fox News Digital, “This is irresponsible and a threat to the safety of Tennesseans.”
“Furthermore, we already have a national security crisis at our border, and the Biden administration’s attempt to revoke Title 42 will only incentivize more illegal crossings,” he stated. “It’s not compassionate to perpetuate a problem that leads to more exploitation and trafficking. 7,000 people unlawfully enter our country every day.”
Lee called for securing the border saying, “This crisis is too big to ignore.”
At this time, it is not known how many illegal immigrants ICE will send to the state.
“Placing the burden on states is not a solution, and we should not bear the brunt of the federal government’s failures,” Lee stated. “We are demanding the Biden administration reverse their plan for detainee relocation. In the meantime, we’re also discussing options with the Tennessee Attorney General and our federal delegation.”
Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has stated that Tennessee is “exploring all options.”
“The lack of appropriate notice and the lack of transparency by both the federal government and its local partners means we must work quickly, but we are committed to ensuring the safety of Tennessee’s citizens,” Skrmetti said.
Lee’s office said it was notified on Monday that busloads of adult detainees would be transported from ICE facilities in New Orleans into Tennessee as soon as this week. Further details were not provided.
A statement from House Speaker Cameron Sexton and leaders William Lamberth and Jeremy Faision said, “President Biden has done everything to collapse our borders and make America less safe, and now, he blames everyone but himself, even while his colleagues blame the president. Illegal immigrants shouldn’t be rewarded for breaking the law. Even Europe deports those staying illegally. Why can’t America do the same? We must secure our border to protect Americans, deport illegals back home and vastly improve the process for immigrants to come to America legally.”
U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn stated that, “Governor Lee, Senator Hagerty, Attorney General Skrmetti, and I will be utilizing all possible options to stop President Biden from trafficking them into our state. Biden created this crisis by terminating successful Trump-era immigration policies, including Remain in Mexico and safe third country agreements. Tennesseans will not stand for this flagrant disregard for law and order.”
U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty said, “This has brought heartbreaking consequences to communities throughout America in the form of increased drug overdoses. It has strained resources for hospitals, schools, and local communities. It has also jeopardized our national security—with border crossers arriving from more than 160 different nations, a number of whom are on terrorist watch lists. In the last year, nearly three million migrants have illegally entered the country — a population larger than the largest four cities of Tennessee combined — Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.
“This does not even include the number of “gotaway” migrants who illegally crossed into our country undetected. Congress must take action to secure the border. It’s unfair to place the burden on Tennessee citizens and local officials to deal with this Administration’s self-inflicted failures,” Hagerty concluded.
U.S. Representative John Rose is calling for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign or be impeached in light of the news.
“Secretary Mayorkas should do the honorable thing and resign. If he does not, then he must be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Rose. “Countless times, Secretary Mayorkas has failed to uphold his oath of office to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Approximately 175 Americans die every day from Fentanyl coming across our southern border, and he—along with the Biden Administration’s so-called “Border Czar” Vice-President Harris—have done nothing but hold the door open as illegal immigrants flood our border and overwhelm our legal immigration process.”
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a decision to lift Title 42 temporarily.
Tennessee, one of 19 states, filed an emergency stay application in a late attempt to keep the COVID-19 public health order in place. Title 42 allows for the quick removal of some illegal immigrants who cross the southern border due to pandemic associated health concerns.
Should Title 42 end, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that illegal crossings will more than double from 7,000 to 15,000 per day.
Title 42 immigration restrictions put in place by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 have deterred hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. in the last few years.
According to a spokesperson for ICE, a non-governmental organization in Nashville has volunteered to assist with housing the illegal immigrants sent to Tennessee.
In this last session of the Tennessee General Assembly, nearly every illegal immigration bill presented either never made it to the floor for a vote or was watered down to the point of being ineffective.
One such bill would have prevented the current situation by giving local law enforcement the authority to enforce federal law and arrest anyone transporting, harboring or facilitating the transport of illegal aliens into Tennessee was sponsored by Representative Dennis Powers in the House and Senator Frank Niceley in the Senate.
However, the bill failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee and was subsequently taken off notice in the Criminal Justice Committee after testimony against the bill by Elizabeth Stroecker from the Tennessee Department of Safety and resulting “Nay votes” from three Republican senators – Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville-District 9) Bell, Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon-District 24) and Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10).
Good Illegal Immigration Legislation Killed Before Reaching The Floor For A Vote:
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 the help of three Republican Representatives listed below voting against.
HB1994 / SB2636 – Legislation sought to require the Commission of Safety, in collaboration with the Commissioner of Human Services, to implement a system for the relocation of illegal aliens who arrive in Tennessee to other locations. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Bruce Griffey in the House and Sen. Frank Niceley in the Senate.
Status: Failed in the House Department and Agencies Subcommittee. No Representatives offered a second to move the bill forward.
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.
Legislation passed in the 112th General Assembly Creating Illegal Immigration Magnets:
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.
For more information on the above bills and for much more, download the Tennessee Conservative’s RINO Report HERE.
About the Authors:
Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.
Jason Vaughn is a Tennessee resident and Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com.