Another TN GOP Immigration Bill That Does a lot of NOTHING


It may be that the only thing SB2158/HB2774 does is show how worried Ferrell Haile is about winning his primary election.

The fake conservative Haile has a strong primary opponent who has the added bonus of being endorsed by the proven conservative John Rich.

So because Haile has voted to reward illegal aliens with the state public benefits of in-state tuition (the 2015 bill that passed the Senate but failed in House by a single vote), and the more recent reward of commercial and professional licenses, he now has to pretend that he really is opposed to endorsing Biden’s agenda on illegal immigration.

Haile’s SB2158 is going to require all the state agencies which btw, are funded by the legislature’s appropriations, to tell the legislature how much illegal immigration costs the state.

Does this mean that the legislature plans to send Biden a bill?

But Haile’s real hypocrisy or the fact that he really doesn’t know squat when he votes on immigration related bills and just does follows the marching order from Randy McNally, Jack Johnson, the NFIB or the Chamber, is exposed in his new bill.

Haile’s new bill would add yet another definition of “illegal alien” to the Tennessee Code. The bill says:

(g) As used in this section: (1) “Illegal alien” means an alien as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 101(a)(3), who is present in the United States without lawful immigration status and therefore subject to removal pursuant to federal law. An alien granted parole under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5), temporary protected status, deferred action, deferred enforced departure, or similar exercise of administrative grace or prosecutorial discretion is not deemed to have lawful immigration status;

These are the very same “illegal alien[s]” that in 2022, Haile voted to give them state public benefits.

For example, “deferred action” in Haile’s definition applies to DACA recipients. The DACA and temporary protected status folks were the two groups of illegal aliens who Shane Reeves told the Senate were the intended beneficiaries of his 2022 commercial and professional licensing bill.

Never mind that Reeve’s bill, now law, rewards many other groups who have no lawful immigration status because his law applies to any illegal alien who has work authorization.

Haile’s definition of illegal alien also includes the migrants granted “parole” by the Biden administration’s gross abuse of the discretionary parole authority. In fact, Tennessee AG Skrmetti joined Tennessee to a multi-state lawsuit challenging Biden’s action to bring hundreds of thousands more illegal aliens into the U.S. using parole.

What Haile and his cronies may not be prepared for though is the dollars and cents response likely to be generated by the very emboldened pro-illegal immigration groups in Tennessee. Just watch the response from TIRRC and their counterparts like Catholic Charities of TN which the legislature gifted with $7.3 million dollars to help them expand into new Tennessee territory.

As far back as 2016, pro-legal and illegal advocacy groups like the Republican heavy Partnership for a New American Economy (later shorted to New American Economy), were churning out state reports to show how much money the legal immigrants and the “undocumented”, aka, migrants without lawful immigration status, were generating for state coffers.

For example, the 2016 NAE Tennessee report says that over 10,000 “undocumented entrepreneurs” generated $244.3 million dollars and overall in 2014, Tennessee’s “undocumented immigrants” earned $2.1 billion dollars, paying the tidy sum of $71.1 million dollars in state and local taxes, “leaving them with $1.8 B in spending power.”

Now of course this report says nothing about the remittance money that diverts a large portion of that discretionary cash. Has anyone’s state legislator ever mentioned the $625 million in 2020 and $748 million in 2021, that permanently left Tennessee’s economy in overseas remittances?

The American Immigration Council (AIC) which advocates for legalizing illegal aliens, issued its own report regarding “immigrants” in Tennessee. Their report claims that the subset of “undocumented” have paid $267.1 million in taxes with $104.2 million going to state and local taxes leaving these same households with $2.5 billion in spending power.

Of course what’s not clear from any of these reports is how much of the “spending power” is recycled public assistance which illegal aliens who have U.S. born children are able to access along with tax breaks like the child tax credit.

On the House side, freshman legislator Jake McCalmon (R-Franklin) is carrying HB2774, the companion bill to Haile’s bill.

McCalmon’s bill has a bunch of co-sponsors including several, who, like Haile, voted in 2022, to give illegal aliens the state public benefit of commercial and professional licenses. Just like Haile, House members Rebecca Alexander, Michele Carringer, Bud Hulsey, Iris Rudder and Clark Boyd, are now supporting a bill in which they effectively admit that the same groups they call out as “illegal aliens” and who they think cost the state money, are the very same ones they rewarded in 2022.

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