Norris Immigration Enforcement Bill Passes House

May 7, 2007


     NASHVILLE, Tenn.Legislation by Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) passed the House of Representatives 95 to 1 last Thursday, May 3.  The Senate passed it unopposed earlier in the year.  The bill permits the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety to enter into negotiations with the United States Department of Homeland Security concerning the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  This bill would give the Tennessee Highway Patrol the possibility to detain and deport illegal immigrants they encounter during the course of their normal duties.

A similar agreement was entered into by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Force and went into effect earlier this year.  Norris hopes that giving the Tennessee Highway Patrol these same abilities will increase the efficiency and scope of the program.

“Illegal immigration has been a great concern to Tennesseans recently.  I am trying to help reduce the burden illegal aliens place on lawful Tennessee residents by instituting this program statewide,” says Norris.  “The astounding success of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Force’s program gives me even greater hope that this is the right course of action.  Illegal aliens, especially those apprehended in the midst of crimes against our citizens, have no right to remain in our state or our country.”

The legislation further provides for training of specific Tennessee Highway Patrol officers in accordance with the program.

“The money necessary to train these employees is already available in the form of federally appropriated funds.  All Tennessee needs to do to gain access to these funds is to implement this legislation, which requires no additional cost to its residents.”

“This legislation provides the best available means to eliminate the appeal of Tennessee to illegal aliens.  If they know that we are authorized to deport them from the country it follows that Tennessee will no longer be a destination they desire to visit.”

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