Photo Credit: capitol.tn.gov
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Last Thursday, January 27th, the Joint Study Committee on Refugee Issues met to approve and adopt their final report on illegal immigration in Tennessee which included their recommendations for how to address the issue in the State.
Tennesseans have repeatedly called for action from our legislators to stop illegal immigration into the State, yet the recommendations in the report would do nothing to actually stop the influx of illegal immigrants into the State or slow it down, for that matter.
The recommendations include:
• The Federal Government to “seek approval from the state prior to the location of UAC’s,” and support for the “Migrant Resettlement Transparency Act” introduced by Sen. Blackburn and Sen. Hagerty.
• Additional reporting requirements for residential child care agencies (RCCA).
• Immediate reporting of juveniles missing from a licensed facility.
• Licensure revocation and ineligibility for renewal when multiple facility employees are charged with criminal behavior.
The final report was voted on and approved with only two of the members not counted as “Ayes”. Rep. Bruce Griffey voted against and Rep. Chris Todd passed on the vote due to absence.
The Tennessee Conservative has reached out to both Griffey and Todd for comment. At the time of publication, we haven’t heard back from either. However, Todd’s office did tell us that he was counted as a “passed vote” because the organizer for the meeting failed to notify him of the meeting’s time so he was not in attendance.
*** Click Here to Support Conservative Journalism in Tennessee. We can’t cover stories like this without your support! ***
Although some new information surfaced due to the meetings, the main takeaway was that the whole resettlement process for illegal immigrants in Tennessee is being run with zero transparency and not even state Representatives and Senators can get the answers they seek and the Committee’s recommendations.
The committee’s recommendations appear to be a response to this with a focus on transparency rather than action to stop resettlement in the state.
The Tennessee Lookout reports that some of the legislators involved in the committee wonder whether the outcome was worth the effort.
Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) said, “We had a great exercise in letting everybody show their frustration.”
Representative Dan Howell (R-Cleveland), who co-chaired the committee, told the Tennessee Lookout following the final meeting that, “Truthfully, the state has very little control over immigration. We have control over the safety of children that come into this state when they’re in state custody. That’s the basis of our committee.”
However, the committee does not appear to have considered support for a state-level and real-world partial solution to the problem in the form of a bill sponsored by Representative Griffey.
House Bill 1648 seeks to make Tennessee a more inhospitable place for illegal immigrants by denying them one of the perks that currently comes with habitating in the state.
Griffey’s bill, if passed, will allow public schools to deny enrollment and the state to not fund education for students deemed to be in the country illegally.
The committee offered no outward support for this bill in their recommendations, rather they chose to offer support to Blackburn and Hagerty’s federal-level bill that was introduced in May of last year with no noticeable movement forward.
The meeting of the Joint Study Committee on January 27th was said to be the last, but there are rumors there could be another.
If that is the case, the committee could show support for another bill that calls for action which was also introduced by Griffey last week.
If HB1994 passes, illegal immigrants residing in Tennessee would be relocated to the home states of President Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Another bill was filed for introduction on January 31st by Representative John Crawford (R-Bristol/Kingsport) that, for the purposes of deterring illegal immigration, is in the same vain as Griffey’s HB1648 with the outcome of making Tennessee more inhospitable to illegal aliens.
Crawford’s bill (HB2128) would prevent any person who is not a U.S. citizen from participating in any federal, state, or local election in Tennessee. It would also prohibit local governments in the state from allowing those who are not citizens to vote in any local election.
Upon reviewing the committee’s recommendations, Brandon Lewis, founder of the Tennessee Conservative said that the Joint Committee’s work appears to be, at this point, like nothing but “wasted time and political theatre.”
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 Directory 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