Haslam Signs Bill That Makes it Harder for Illegal Aliens to Conceal Immigration Status

Bill Haslam
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Unlike the anti-sanctuary cities bill, Governor Haslam signed into law a bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Green and Rep. William Lamberth which prohibits municipalities from creating their own local identity card programs and the use of any local identity card to be accepted as proof of “citizenship, immigration status or residency.”

This bill, the very last one passed by the General Assembly before adjourning “sine die” meaning until the new two year session beginning in January 2019, was passed by reconciling the House and Senate passed versions of the bill. The Senate passed the conference committee version by a 25-3 vote and the House passed it 69-9-1.

Local identity card programs have become a popular program in sanctuary cities to help illegal aliens appear as if they are lawfully present. In other cities the cards have also helped illegal aliens avoid arrest and possible deportation during traffic stops.

During Nashville’s last mayoral race, all of the candidates including Megan Barry endorsed creating a local identification card program that would include illegal aliens.

The bill version Lamberth passed out of committee included a specific reference to prohibiting the use of the matricula consular card being accepted as an identification document because as Lamberth pointed out, the cards issued by the Mexican government, cannot be run through any databases available to U.S. law enforcement.

During testimony in committee by the co-Directors of the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), opposing Rep. Lamberth’s bill, admitted that immigrants who primarily rely on the matricula card are “people who do not have immigration status.”

While the bill Haslam signed into law no longer includes a specific reference to consular cards, another part of the Tennessee Code states specifically that the matricula consular card cannot be accepted as proof of identification to get a Tennessee driver license.

Without valid proof of identity as determined by the law just signed by Haslam, or a drivers license, illegal aliens driving without either, are at risk for arrest. Protectionist immigration lawyers like Elliott Ozment in Nashville have repeatedly warned that an illegal alien driving without a license can end up in deportation proceedings.

According to Metro Nashville Police Chief Anderson, the department’s policy when interacting with immigrants, is that “[i]mmigration status is not a relevant consideration in most interactions with immigrants” except in a potential “arrest situation” where, “verification of identification is most often the significant consideration in determining eligibility for a citation in lieu of continued custody.”

TIRRC told the House committee that they have worked with Metro Nashville police to recognize the matricula consular cards and encourage accepting them for identification purposes. TIRRC also informed the committee that the Mexican consulate hosts visits to Tennessee monthly to issue the matricula consular cards.

In Cincinnati, working with local law enforcement and city officials, Catholic Charities is producing and providing a municipal ID card to immigrants in the city who don’t have or can’t obtain U.S. government identification.

With the signing of HB2312, local identity card programs will have to be authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Thoughts to “Haslam Signs Bill That Makes it Harder for Illegal Aliens to Conceal Immigration Status”

  1. Ron Thompsom

    “During testimony in committee by the co-Directors of the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), opposing Rep. Lamberth’s bill, admitted that immigrants who primarily rely on the matricula card are “people who do not have immigration status.” Not true! They DO have status. Their status is ILLEGAL.

  2. Donna Locke

    The legislature needs to ban all consular IDs as accepted ID in this state. Don’t specify the Mexican consular ID only. That makes the bill discriminatory. Ban all of them as acceptable ID. These IDs are issued to illegal aliens by their own countries for use on the suckers in this country. The FBI has warned about these laughable “IDs.”

  3. Bruce

    I love it when people that were not born and raised in Tennessee think they can come in and bully those that were. They have no right to be here in the first place. Tennessee should control it’s state immigration.

  4. Randall

    Even our homeless have to have an official state ID to buy 40-quarts

  5. Wolf Woman

    TIRRC and ACLU Tennessee have taken some hits this legislative year. Maybe they’ll get the memo that Tennesseans are tired of taking care of the monetary migrant invaders who love their own country’s flags more than ours.

  6. Steve L.

    Amazing how so many folks facilitate illegal immigrants in the country. Track it back by following the money trail. Spending my tax dollars to provide social and health services for illegal immigrant labor at construction sites makes folks like the Haslam’s rich. And the Catholics Charities is given money by the Federal Government to help these folks break the law. Follow the money….

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