Legislation Giving Local Law Enforcement The Right To Enforce Federal Immigration Laws In TN Making Progress (Update 3.29.22)

***Update 3/29/22 – SB2264 – Action was deferred last week in the Senate State & Local Govt. Committee. Rescheduled to be heard on 3/29/22.

Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

Legislation that would give local law enforcement the authority to enforce federal law and arrest anyone transporting, harboring or facilitating the transport of illegal aliens into Tennessee is progressing in the Tennessee General Assembly.

The House bill sponsor, Representative Dennis Powers, told the Tennessee Conservative that the bill “gives law enforcement the authority to enforce federal law and arrest anyone transporting, harboring or facilitating the transport of illegal aliens into our state.  We have had flights arriving in the middle of the night in Knoxville and Chattanooga and then transporting those illegal aliens throughout our state and we have seen illegal aliens housed in the former Temple University in Chattanooga.   We do not know who these people are or where they are going.  We cannot arrest the illegals because that is the job of the federal government (which they are not doing), but we can arrest those who are transporting them, whether it be a van driver or a pilot landing in our state under Title 8 U.S.C. $ 1324 (a). That is what my bill is about, plus it also develops training on how to enforce the federal law regarding transporting illegal aliens into our state.  The intent of this bill is to be a deterrent to anyone who wants to bring illegal aliens into our state and our hope is that Congress will one day address the issue of illegals coming into our state and enforce the current federal laws.”

Information from the General Assembly Website:

Caption Bills – House Bill 2222 (HB2222) sponsored by Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro-District 36) and Senate Bill 2264 (SB2264) sponsored by Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains-District 8) as introduced, required the Tennessee Office for Refugees to report, on a quarterly basis, the total number of individuals placed by the office to the members of the General Assembly and to the legislative librarian. The Office for Refugees would also report the cost to the office of services provided to the placed individuals, and the communities where the individuals were placed in the state.

HB2222 was amended on March 17th as follows:

SUMMARY OF BILL AS AMENDED (015977): Requires the Jerry F. Agee Tennessee law enforcement training academy to develop and offer to law enforcement officers a training program that explains how officers can make arrests in compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1324.

Assumptions for the bill as amended (partial):

• Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to undocumented immigrants. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry.

• The Jerry F. Agee Tennessee law enforcement training academy can develop and provide such a training program to law enforcement officers within existing resources.

HB2222 goes to the Calendar and Rules Committee today, March 24th, to be scheduled for hearing on the House Floor.

The Senate version (SB2264) of the bill was set to be heard by the Senate State and Local Government Committee last week but action was deferred until March 29th, 2022. If you support this legislation, contact the Republican members of the Committee (who hold the supermajority vote) prior to their meeting. Contact information below.

Senate State and Local Government Committee

Richard Briggs (Chair) – sen.richard.briggs@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-1766

Todd Gardenhire (1st Vice-Chair) – sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-6682

Page Walley (2nd Vice-Chair) – sen.page-walley@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-2368

Ed Jackson – sen.ed.jackson@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-1810

Brian Kelsey – sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-3036

Bill Powers – sen.bill.powers@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-2374

Ken Yager – sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-1449

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

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