‘Immigration Enforcement’ Bill Parked Behind Budget

A state House bill that would allow law enforcement to check the immigration status of someone pulled over or detained was put on hold last week, at least for the moment., observes The Tennessean.
The Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act (HB1380) was moved behind the budget by a House finance subcommittee Wednesday morning. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, acknowledged that the move, made until an estimated $3 million can be generated to implement the measure, slows its progress.
“Putting it behind the budget doesn’t kill it,” he said. “It basically parks it.”
The bill would allow law enforcement to check someone’s immigration status if an officer reasonably suspects a person already stopped or detained isn’t a citizen or legal immigrant. The bill also would create a training program for law enforcement about immigration laws.
“We are prioritizing the state’s stance on illegal immigration based on the financial resources we have,” Carr said. ‘Very targeted approach’
Eben Cathey, communications coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, is pleased by the bill’s delay — although he would have rather seen the subcommittee defeat the “discriminatory legislation” outright.
“This Arizona copycat bill doesn’t reflect the values and priorities of Tennessee voters,” he said. “It takes some of the worst aspects of these bills and tries to implement them in Tennessee.”

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