Tennessee Lawmaker Seeks to Eliminate Illegal Alien Employment in Tennessee


In order to curtail illegal alien employment, employers with six or more employees may be required to verify their workers’ eligibility. Current law only requires that level of verification for employers with over 50 employees. The proposed bill would also remove the immunity for employers who rely on forms of verification other than E-Verify, the federal electronic employment verification service. The legislation includes a sole exemption for farmers.

State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) introduced the legislation earlier this month. Its companion bill in the Senate, introduced by State Senator John Stevens (R-Huntington), was referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee last week. The legislation mirrors Griffey’s similar bill from last year, which was passed by the House but died in the Senate.

Griffey clarified with The Tennessee Star that the legislation wasn’t taken up by the Senate during last year’s general assembly due to COVID-19, not due to the merits of the bill.

In a press release shared with The Star, Griffey cited data from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). According to FAIR, Tennessee tax payers forked over $793 million to address illegal immigration in 2017 – around $315 per household. FAIR’s most recent report estimated around 151,000 illegal aliens resided in Tennessee in 2020. By their 2017 estimates of cost per illegal alien, that would bring the taxpayer burden up to around $887 million.

“This must end, and, in order to bring it to an end, I want to curtail the ability of illegal aliens to obtain jobs or benefits in Tennessee. I want to make Tennessee be the very last place that illegal aliens want to come,” stated Griffey in his press release. “In addition, everyone should have to obey the laws equally. It is a fundamental principle and value in America.”

Griffey told The Star that the Biden Administration’s agenda to pander to illegal immigrants would only serve to hurt lawful American citizens.

“We can all see since the election that Joe Biden and the Democrats are creating a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of illegal, undocumented immigrants. They take U.S. jobs, and they don’t have COVID tests or vaccinations, either,” stated Griffey. “We’ve got hundreds of thousands of unemployed Tennesseans. Why would we allow people to take jobs from legal Tennessee residents?”

A study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that the combination of legal and illegal immigrants outpaced native-born Americans for employment gains from 2007 to 2017.

Griffey explained that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s law inspired him to pursue the legislation once again this year.

“America first, baby. I took an oath on the Tennessee Constitution and represent the interests of Tennessee voters, not the illegal aliens. I will always put the interests of my constituents first,” asserted Griffey. “It sickens me that the liberals and Democrats want illegal aliens in America to bolster their voting base and the globalist GOP corporate donors want cheap immigrant labor to help Wall Street and not working Americans. I want to change that. I will always fight for working Americans just like President Trump!”

The bill will appear before the House Banking & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. CST.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “State Rep. Bruce Griffey” by Bruce Griffey.






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11 Thoughts to “Tennessee Lawmaker Seeks to Eliminate Illegal Alien Employment in Tennessee”

  1. Pandora

    A politician who really wants to serve Tennessee! Bravo! When President Biden and the Dems completely open the borders we will be further inundated with illegals. They are costing us $887 million per year now in Tennessee. It is ridiculous! When the floodgates are open they will cost us exponentially more. I believe in laws. I don’t care what you look like or where you come from. You need to be here legally. Let’s hope this bill passes -as it should. It is a no-brainer and badly needed. Thank you Rep. Bruce Griffey!

  2. lb

    This will do absolutely NOTHING to address ILLEGAL ALIEN CRIMINALS working in TN. MOST of them work in Construction & Restaurants/Hosp. They ALL subcontract to LEGAL Immigrant workers who then hire them to do jobs which means they can be here, work ILLEGALLY and get PAID.
    We had TWO large Construction projects in last 4 yrs. We renovated house we were living in updating it while having another home built. We had to DEMAND the Construction/Constractors PROVE the workers they sent to our projects were LEGAL. We had one try to lie even tho they workers who showed up didnt speak ANY English AND had no idea how to do the project they were supposed to do. BOTH of these Contractors threatened us with delays because we INSISTED on Americans/LEGAL Residents who could PROVE it via Green Card. One of the projects got delayed 4 days and the other never got delayed. The guys who showed up (ALL older and several were Black) THANKED US because they knew we insisted on them.
    These guys all told us they would show up ready to work and be assigned and would see the foreign but Legal “Boss” show up, dole out jobs to his fellow Countrymen who were here ILLEGALLY . These Americans would ask why they couldnt work and be told the ILLEGALS had badly undercut them on price.
    Funny that even though we MADE them use the “expensive” American/Legal workers, our price didnt go up.
    UNTIL there is a BIG crackdown on these ILLEGALS working as Independent Contractors thru their fellow LEGAL Countrymen, you wont see a change. That happens in Landscaping too.
    CLAMP down on that, RAID the large Construction sites and make SURE it gets publicized that TN is NOT FRIENDLY to ILLEGALS.

  3. 83ragtop50

    Finally someone with the nerve to stand up for Americans. We all need to tell our state Representative and Senator to support this common sense legislation.

  4. Ben Taibi

    Great Idea – Lets get it done – This country is bleeding money from people who would love nothing better than to see it destroyed – Tennessee should fight for what is right and that is to protect the citizens of Tennessee from all assaults coming from Washington

  5. Beatrice Shaw

    Incredibly racist and Immigrant-phobic. Didn’t this man get involved in some shady dealings with his wife, a judge and the IRS? He needs to quit coming after the hard working people of Tennessee.

  6. I and every other Tennessean support him in this! Except of course Chambers of Commerce Members, Roofing Contractors and Cracker Box Builders!

  7. Bruce

    I work around construction, most job sites are full of them. They work for cash primarily, nothing is done to verify anything. When you can’t even communicate with the people around you, safety basically doesn’t exist.

  8. Tim Price

    We need EVERYONE to adhere to the law. No exceptions!

  9. Thomas Barry

    We don’t need more laws on employment we need to enforce laws already on the books and hold those who don’t accountable

  10. JRin

    Farmers are exempt? Some illegal aliens are okay? What about rich people’s nannies? Are they okay?

    1. jamesb

      illegal means illegal