In an interview on The Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast Wednesday on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Steve Gill spoke to State Representative of House District Twenty Six Robin Smith about Georgia’s desire to move the border in order to get some of Tennessee’s water.
Towards the end of the show, the team discussed with Smith’s recent victory in passing the e-verify bill and how this will lead the way to making sure only legal immigrants are able to work in the state.
Gill: Robin Smith is on our news-makers line and a lot of stuff going on. Two big bills we want to get her to update us on. State Representative from the Chattanooga area. The bottom line is Georgia wants our water. Georgia wants to take a mile of our property. And Robin says not only no but hell no. Maybe not in those exact terms. Good morning Robin.
Smith: Good morning Steve. Good morning Nashville. I’m fascinated by the fact that Georgia has pretty much put their foot in the ground that their not going to move their historical monuments but they want us to move our state line so they can access our water. It’s called urban planning.
Gill: And don’t they have like you know hundreds and hundreds of miles of coast line. De-salinization is working in Israel.
Smith: That’s exactly right. Oh yeah, they have about one hundred miles of coast line. It’s called the Atlantic Ocean. (Leahy chuckles) And they could de-salinate and it works very well as you’ve already alluded to in Israel. Absolutely.
Gill: I think we should point out to them Robin, if you want to move that mile into our border than they get Memphis.
Smith: Let’s put it this way. The only thing that I would agree to is that if they move our state line then we get to annex their coast line.
Leahy: Well there you go, I like that.
Smith: And everything in between. It really is, I understand they’re in a little bit of a resource issue with their fresh water access but again you know state’s cannot annex. And we just a couple of years ago settled with this legislative body the fact that we want even our counties that can’t annex to have residents that would be able to vote up or down if they want to be annexed. And it’s rather unfortunate that one hundred years ago maybe the surveyor had a little too much to drink. But…
Gill: Missed it by this much.
Leahy: So this is a board depute based upon a bad survey a hundred years ago.
Gill: After a hundred years get over it.
Smith: We’re talking about the municipality of East Ridge, part of Chattanooga and much of Lookout Valley would be impacted by the movement of this state line as they’ve projected it. And not only is it confiscation of resources but when you look at the homes and the income that would be impacted. A little thing is pretty important to us here in Tennessee is that we don’t have an income tax and Georgia does. So I think that clearly there’s a reason to fight for it and because house district 26 which I am very pleased and honored to represent it includes a grand portion of the Tennessee River that cuts through north of the river and downtown. I plan to be pretty vocal on this and fight it.
Gill: Good job. Another issue by the way and we’ll post some of the stories about this so people can be fully informed. Another big issue yesterday passed pretty overwhelmingly, e-verify. You were one of the co-sponsors with Bruce Griffy on trying to staunch the flow illegals into our state to take jobs from our citizens by requiring e-verify of Tennessee business’s. How will this work and what are the prospects in the Senate?
Smith: Well, I give my colleague Bruce, Bruce Griffey a hand up and a heads up because thank you for sponsoring this bill and working it. But I was very honored to sign onto the legislation. Essentially this takes the trigger number of fifteen employees or more and moves it down to twenty five. None of us would really like to have to deal with this issue at the state level. But because clearly at the federal level our congress is dysfunctional. and despite the fact that President Trump is doing all that he can to draw attention to the invasion at our southern border.
Legal immigration is what we applaud. Legal immigration is what’s constitutional. But now because of the resources and the cost to the state of increased enrollment in schools. Increased resources going to English as a second language. More, healthcare utilization has gone up and paid for by the state tax dollars. We’re going to have to find a way to deal with illegal immigration at the state level and this is just one of the ways I was happy to join representative Bruce Griffey on this. And again it’s basically just changing the trigger number of businesses that are required by law to use e-verify from fifty down to twenty five.
Gill: And so if an employee you know has somebody that comes and applies for a job you run through e-verify. If it shows that that social security number is not theirs or is registered to some 58-year-old woman in Oregon,
Gill: Then you aren’t hired. I’ve longed believe Robin if we will cut off the jobs the illegals will go home because they are here to take our jobs.
Smith: One of the things that President Trump has proven, and this really I think is the driving force behind the anti-Trump folks within the Republican party. We’ve seen a complete political novice who’s extremely effective in the world of construction and development and real estate. All things there. But he has shown that if you just employ conservative principals which are free and fair market. Which are legal immigration and not illegal immigration our economy improves. Wages go up. I read an article day before yesterday how the global economy has finally stabilized. And it’s really in large part thanks to the stabilization and the growth of the US economy.
Gill: What are the prospects of this e-verify bill in the Senate? Do you have any idea of what’s going to go on over there with this bill?
Smith: That’s a good question. Because I’m not lead sponsor I’m not familiar with how it’s moving in the Senate. But I would encourage our colleagues to think past the fact, that to the degree that we can, we are not the end all be all you know on determining legal immigration at the federal level. But it is a fact.
Gill: We can certainly do our part from the state. State Representative Robin Smith. Always doing a great job. We appreciate the update. I know you have a huge busy week in the legislation this week. We’ll let you get to it.
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Robin Smith” by Robin Smith.