The first problem is that we don’t have a Ron DeSantis type governor. The second problem is that the TN Chamber of Commerce and NFIB have outsized influence over too many legislators in the General Assembly. The third problem is that there are too many Republicans in the General Assembly who are simply okay with illegal immigration.
With over 130,000 UACs, over 380,000 family units and over 950,000 adults – all illegal aliens, having crossed the border from October through August for a total so far for FY21 of over 1.5 million, untested and untreated for COVID, but still being shipped to communities around the U.S., you’d think our so-called “conservative” super-majority would get serious about the impact on Tennessee.
Add, another 16,000 migrants from Colombia and another caravan of 40 – 60,000 Haitians heading to the border not including those waiting in Mexico which by December, an internal report speculates will total 125,000 migrants waiting to cross into the U.S..
And these massive numbers are on top of the almost 60,000 Afghan (many unvetted or poorly vetted) evacuees being relocated to communities around the U.S. and the 125,000 refugees Biden promises to import from overseas during FY22. BTW, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is urging Biden to up the number to 200,000.
Even before Biden opened the border and stopped construction on the border wall in April 2020, the Nashville government issued a report documenting the 31,000 illegal aliens living and working in Davidson County. The following month, the Soros funded Center for Migration Studies reported that at least 66,900 illegal alien “essential” workers were earning their livelihoods in Tennessee.
The Partnership for a New American Economy 2016 report put the illegal alien population in Tennessee at 128,620.
Then there’s TIRRC….
TIRRC board member Sandra Pita, an illegal alien living in Memphis who has work authorization and temporary deferred deportation because she is a DACA beneficiary of the unconstitutional Obama program tells us that she was promised a pathway to citizenship and it’s time to give it! In any case she says, she deserves it because of the sacrifices she’s made to “go out every day and work on the front lines to keep this country going” by being paid to clean people’s homes during COVID. Pita says that she has a business that employs other women and was forced to reduce her staff because she was denied COVID relief money.
While both Pita and her husband are illegal aliens, their six children were born here and are considered U.S. citizens. Pita admits that her husband cannot work legally but yet, is employed by a home remodeling firm. See why E-verify is important?
Pita is hoping that her soon to be 21-year old son can file the paperwork to legalize her and her husband.
Pita is a board member of the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), an organization which has benefitted in the past from Soros funding. More importantly perhaps, is TIRRC’s six paid lobbyists who aggressively attack key legislation at Tennessee’s state legislature. It doesn’t hurt that TIRRC maintains a large staff and over $3 million in the bank.
David Lubell, a former organizer with Latino Memphis launched TIRRC at the same time the Nashville Chamber of Commerce signed up to be a paid site for a U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement pilot called “Building the New American Community”. One objective of this grant was to demonstrate how local governments could help immigrants and refugees better integrate. It emphasized building coalitions and immigrant leadership.
Since then, TIRRC has become the state ringleader with a satellite office in Memphis and along with Latino Memphis, Centro Hispano in Knoxville, La Pax in Chattanooga, and Conexion Americas in Nashville, advocate for illegal aliens and refugees in the state. TIRRC Votes has helped Marxist candidates in Tennessee get elected to local seats.
TIRRC fiercely opposed the sanctuary city bill and the lesser publicized municipal identification bill along with every bill that creates any obstacle for illegal aliens in Tennessee.
It doesn’t help that Tennessee’s Attorney General is super soft on illegal immigration going so far as to advocate for amnesty for the “dreamers” after meeting with TIRRC’s director a few years back. No different than Haslam who ran as a hawk on illegal immigration, refused to sign the sanctuary city bill, and ended up pushing in-state tuition for illegal alien students in Tennessee.
Even though illegal aliens depress the wages of the least skilled Tennessee workers, the General Assembly and its conflict-of-interest driven voting, is complicit in throwing legal Tennessee workers and conservative voters under the bus in deference to the wishes of the Chamber of Commerce and NFIB, because “we are a business friendly state.”
If Tennessee legislators were serious about illegal immigration in the state they would at least…
- fix the Tennessee municipal ID law and amend TCA 8-5-120 to prohibit the use of consular cards for identification in Tennessee.
Back in 2018, Rep. William Lamberth and then state Sen. Mark Green sponsored a bill that would have prohibited the use of consular cards issued by foreign governments, to be used for identification by state residents. During the hearing in the House, “co-Directors of TIRRC admitted that immigrants who primarily rely on consular cards are ‘people who do not have immigration status’ and that the Mexican consulate visits Tennessee monthly to issue its consular cards.” Lamberth also pointed out that “illegal immigrants use the matricula consular to obtain services here and to avoid deportation” and “impressed upon the subcommittee members that law enforcement can’t run that card through a database to verify a person’s identity.”
City governments had begun issuing local municipal ID cards to illegal aliens to help them appear as
if they had some type of legal presence. In some cities, municipal ID cards are used to enable voting in local elections.
Lamberth’s bill passed the House intact prohibiting the use of the consular cards. Mark Green dropped that part of the bill in the Senate and unfortunately, the House ultimately concurred.
Tennessee law has long prohibited the use of the consular card for identification to get a driver’s license although it is likely that illegal aliens obtaining driver licenses in other states are using these or fraudulent documents to get Tennessee driver licenses.
- require every business operating in Tennessee to use E-verify. Data from states which mandate the use of E-verify by all employers shows significant reductions in the number of illegal aliens working in those states.
- require that any individual seeking to do business in Tennessee and obtain a license to operate, provide documentary proof of lawful immigration status. This would apply to independent contractors as well. It is critical for Tennessee lawmakers to understand that DACA does not confer any lawful immigration status.
- follow Oklahoma’s example and impose a wire transfer fee on the money illegal aliens send out of the country.
- audit the issuance of driver licenses to ensure that fraudulent documents are not being used and that state law is being followed.
- increase enforcement of the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act and enhance penalties for repeat offenders.
- discontinue licensing companies and organizations that cater to illegal aliens including those that contract with ORR to move and/or resettle illegal UACs to Tennessee
- prohibit the issuance of professional licenses to anyone without lawful status. https://tennesseestar.com/2018/06/26/illegal-aliens-get-in-state-tuition-in-five-states-that-also-allow-them-to-practice-law/
If Bill Lee and Republicans in the General Assembly were serious about illegal immigration they would hurry up and study Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 21-223.
It won’t be Congress or another Trumpian president who will soften the blow to Tennessee. It’s highly unlikely that Bill Lee will rise to the challenge.
The Tennessee General Assembly already has the authority and Constitutional mandate. They can help insulate the citizens and legal immigrants living in Tennessee from the disastrous effects of Biden’s illegal immigration policies and the efforts of traitorous and/or inept Republicans in Congress.