Lamberth Withdraws Bill For Loosening Illegal Immigration Standards For Law Enforcement

Image Credit: / Twitter & Thomas R Machnitzki / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44) has pulled his bill from consideration that would have removed the requirement for military service and allowed all permanent residents (non-citizens) to apply and be considered for positions in any local law enforcement agency throughout the state of Tennessee. 

House Republican Leader Lamberth’s bill, HB0056, if passed, would have allowed any qualified permanent legal resident of the United States to be certified as a law enforcement officer and not just a permanent legal resident who is an honorably discharged military veteran. The bill also sought to prohibit the POST commission from certifying a person decertified in another state because of criminal or other misconduct; and would have required the commission to evaluate the qualifications of a person certified as a law enforcement officer in another state by reviewing the person’s training, practical experience, and education.

The current law, as it stands, requires that anyone who wishes to be considered for employment as a law enforcement officer, if not a full-fledged citizen by birth or naturalization, must have proof of having served in any branch of the United States Military, and an honorable discharge from that branch. 

In preparation for our article on the bill that was published on January 18th, The Tennessee Conservative reached out to Lamberth but did not receive a response.

However, on January 20th, Tennessean Steve Abramowicz, host of the Mill Creek View Tennessee Podcast, reached out to Lamberth by email questioning the bill.

The email read:

“ I don’t understand why you feel a need to file a bill like this.

‘This bill would “remove the requirement for military service’ and now allow all permanent residents (non-citizens) to work in law enforcement.’

Why shouldn’t non-citizens be required to serve in the military and renounce former country citizenship as an obligation to be employed by taxpayer funded law enforcement or become citizens?”

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.”

Lamberth replied:

“This bill was filed as a part of my responsibilities as Majority Leader on behalf of the Commerce and Insurance Department. A friend of mine found this provision in the bill last week and I join your objection to it. Therefore, I personally withdrew the bill from consideration on the House floor today. This provision will not be considered this year and hopefully will never be considered.”

The General Assembly website confirms that the bill was withdrawn from consideration on January 20th.

Prior to the bill being pulled, The Tennessee Conservative asked our audience in a social media post, “Should citizens from other countries be allowed to legally police Tennesseans? Rep. William Lamberth has introduced a bill to make this a reality.  Do you think it’s a good idea?”

Lisa Russel replied, “For as much as some Tennesseans say, ‘Don’t California My Tennessee,’ they sure don’t want to fight to keep it from being that way.”

Judy Babb said, “Not just no, but HELL no.”

Doug Mitchell wrote, “ HELL NO!!! How can a non-US Citizen swear an oath to uphold our Constitution and laws?”

Jason Smith said, “It’s insane, I don’t understand the push for this, CA did it, NV is now looking at it, it makes no sense.”

Lamberth also replied to our post on Twitter after pulling the bill.

The Tennessee Conservative’s founder, Brandon Lewis, questioned the bill in last week’s episode of the Big 7 weekend digest prior to the bill being pulled.

Lewis urged viewers to email Lamberth and ask him if Tennessee should have non-citizens policing its citizens and if this legislation is a good idea for the Volunteer State.

Lewis said, “We want less foreign labor in Tennessee, as Republican Conservative primary voters.  We want less illegal immigration but every time a bill is filed, instead of reducing it, it seems to be increasing it…”

On Twitter, The Tennessee Conservative is running a poll asking whether The General Assembly should take action at the state-level to deter illegal immigration into the state.

As it currently stands 82.1% say YES.

With HB0056 being pulled from consideration, there is one less potential magnet for illegal immigration into the state, yet upon publication of this article, there have been no good bills filed to deter illegal immigration in this session of the General Assembly.  Tuesday, January 31st, is the deadline for all new bills to be filed.

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

4 thoughts on “Lamberth Withdraws Bill For Loosening Illegal Immigration Standards For Law Enforcement

  • January 24, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    I just can’t get passed the part that illegal aliens serving in law enforcement “inadvertently was put in the bill”. Am I the only one that this doesn’t pass the smell test for?

    Very much stinks of “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in the bill”.

    Reckless and Irresponsible. Sorry, but I said what I said, and I’m not wrong.

  • January 24, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    Wow!!! “A friend of mine found this provision in the bill”— yet he had sponsored it! Either he lies or is incompetent sponsoring a bill that he hadn’t read.
    Can’t have it both ways!
    Time for him to “go home”.

  • January 24, 2023 at 11:41 pm

    I REALLY wonder about him.

  • January 31, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    Can anyone say, Memphis?


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