Last year 35 House and 15 Senate Republicans voted to help Democrats pass Republican Shane Reeves’ bill that makes illegal aliens with temporary federal (as in Biden administration) work authorization, eligible to obtain commercial and professional licenses. Helping to advance Biden’s agenda on illegal immigration, Tennessee Republicans have enabled illegal aliens to now become licensed teachers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, general contractors, etc.
Bill Lee of course, rushed to sign it into law.
Sen. John Stevens and Rep. Andrew Farmer, both of whom are lawyers, both voted for the Shane Reeves bill to reward illegal aliens with this state public benefit. It apparently didn’t matter to these two Republican lawyers that the illegal aliens they have rewarded, do not have lawful presence for purposes of getting state public benefits.
Surely they knew, being lawyers and all, that being granted work authorization by the federal government doesn’t change an illegal alien’s immigration status or make them somehow lawfully present in the U.S. for purposes of getting state public benefits.
While Sen. Reeves may not have understood that his target group of Obama’s DACA recipients are not lawfully present for purposes of getting state public benefits, how is it that two lawyer-legislators didn’t know this? Or did they know and chose anyway to vote in favor of rewarding DACA illegal aliens with a public benefit?
Regardless, the bill that Bill Lee signed into law applies to other illegal aliens with work authorization beyond DACA recipients.
Rep. Farmer is pretty soft when it comes to bills dealing with illegal immigration. Hypocritically, when one of the bills sponsored by Rep. Dan Howell dealing with the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) being smuggled into Tennessee was in the committee Farmer was chairing, and after Howell admitted that UACs have no lawful immigration status but lamented that his new child care license is “all that we can do” in the face of federal jurisdiction over immigration, Farmer reminded everyone that the federal government has “exclusive jurisdiction even though we are a sovereign state”.
But there is no federal mandate to give illegal aliens state public benefits like professional licenses. Farmer also voted YES in 2015, to give illegal aliens the state public benefit of in-state tuition; the bill failed by a single vote in the House.
While Stevens voted NO on the 2015 in-state tuition bill, he did vote YES on the UAC bill last year.
Word has it that a bill giving the public benefit of in-state tuition to illegal aliens may have enough support this year to finally pass. Reporting as of 2018, noted that at least five states that give illegal aliens in-state tuition also allow them to get a license to practice law.
Will Tennessee become state #6?
Regardless, Stevens and Farmer deserve to be asked why they want to help illegal aliens become licensed to practice law in Tennessee.