In a straightforward statement today, GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) said “we need to uncouple illegal immigration and Tennessee”:
The recent arrest of illegal aliens working at the Bean Station slaughterhouse is a red flag that Tennessee has been allowed to become a magnet for illegal aliens despite an E-verify law which I voted for when I was in the state Senate. The attempt by a city government last year to skirt our current sanctuary city law, which I also voted for, is another flag that we need to uncouple illegal immigration and Tennessee. Our current sanctuary city law needs strengthening and the Green-Reedy bill is sound public policy that should be signed into law.
Black has zeroed in on the fact that Tennessee is offering what illegal aliens are looking for – the ability to live, work and go to school in communities where officials who have promised to uphold the law, simply look the other way.
With pressure from well funded organizations that advocate for illegal immigration and Republican legislators softening to demands for state benefits like in-state college tuition for illegal alien students, a proposal publicly backed by Governor Haslam, Tennessee looks like a very “welcoming state.”
According to Black, however, it’s become more like “a magnet for illegal aliens.”
Candidate Bill Haslam made big promises about pushing back against illegal immigration in Tennessee when he campaigned for governor in 2009. During his two terms, however, instead of decreasing the number of illegal aliens living, working and going to school in the state, the number increased.
Estimates from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for the first year of the Haslam administration put the 2010 population of illegal aliens in Tennessee at 120,000 costing state taxpayers approximately $547 million that year.
By 2017, FAIR estimated the number of illegal aliens in the state had grown to 135,000 and at an estimated cost of $793 million.
A detailed account in Grainger Today about the Bean Station operation and the raid mentions that the suspiciously very large multi-million dollar cash withdrawals that ultimately led to the 2018 investigation were on-going since 2008; before the Haslam administration but continuing for the full two terms since his election.
The Metro Nashville Council and the Shelby County Commission have tipped their hands about resisting cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
And despite all of this, Governor Haslam can’t seem to make up his mind about whether to sign the Green-Reedy bill.
Should anyone be surprised that TIRRC and it’s allies brazenly chant “we are here to stay” and “sin papeles y sin miedo” (no papers no fear)? Some call it a homesteading approach to accessing all the same benefits as citizens.
Beth Harwell voted for the anti-sanctuary city bill but has made no public statement about whether she thinks the Governor should sign it.
The Tennessee Star received a statement from Randy Boyd’s campaign spokesman which offered no opinion about whether the Governor should sign the bill but did promise that if elected, Boyd would enforce the law. There’s justifiable skepticism about what Boyd’s post-election positions might be on illegal immigration given the organizations he has chosen to join and to fund.
Bill Lee said that if he were Governor, he’d sign it. His business relationship with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce could also require a different outcome post-election.
Diane Black called on Haslam to sign the bill and circulated a petition urging him to sign.
Sanctuary policies and practices elevate the interests and welfare of criminal illegal aliens over citizens and legal residents. The Governor has three more days, until this Tuesday, May 22nd, to set the trend of his administration in reverse.
Critics of the governor are concerned he will bend to the desires of the vocal and disruptive left wing groups who want him to reject the views of the overwhelming majority of Tennesseans, expressed through the Tennessee General Assembly’s legislation that now sits on his desk.
Others are willing to give the governor the benefit of the doubt.
By Tuesday evening, at the very latest, all Tennesseans will know which path Gov. Haslam has chosen.