published Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Haslam plans broad-based immigration legislation

NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday he is working with Republican legislative leaders to develop a broad-based bill dealing with illegal immigration.

One piece would be an Arizona-style law allowing state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

Another would require the written portion of driver's license exams be given in English unless the person is in the U.S. legally through a work or student visa.

The law would require businesses to use the federal E-Verify program in hiring and make the state ensure illegal immigrants cannot access a number of state services.

Haslam spoke to reporters after an address to state business leaders. He cautioned he doesn't want Tennessee to set too strident a tone in its approach.

"What I want to make certain is that those businesses that have located here and anyone else who's here for a legal reason doesn't feel threatened by that in any way and doesn't decide to take their business anywhere else," Haslam said, citing the driver's license bill. "We have a lot of Japanese businesses located here and a lot of German businesses, and we want to make sure we don't do anything to inhibit that."

Germany-based Volks-wagen has built a $1 billion plant in Chattanooga that will employ 2,000 people and manufacture Passats. Wacker Chemical, another German company, is building a $1.2 billion plant in Bradley County that will employ 500 people.

Similar "English-only" bills last year drew concerns from VW, Nissan and other businesses.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said there has been discussion about moving separate bills and he was unaware of talk of a comprehensive bill.

With regard to the drivers' license bill, McCormick said, "I feel good ... as long as we make sure that people who make foreign investments in this country don't have restricted driving rights. That's my main concern -- that it doesn't negatively impact economic development efforts. And we need to be very careful in the signals that we send on that issue."

Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfeesboro, said cracking down on illegal immigrants won't hurt the state's image.

"This is such a hot issue in our state, a lot of those businesses, industries and families will want to come here because we're doing the right thing. It's about being legal, not illegal," Ketron said.

In Georgia, a bill that would require that driver's license tests be given only in English was tabled Wednesday. The test now is offered in 14 languages.

An amendment that passed Wednesday requires that by Jan. 1, 2012, all written and oral examinations include at least five questions "which necessitate an ability to read warning signs in English that are more than three words long, including, but not limited warning signs reading 'use caution hazardous conditions ahead.'"

Staff writer Perla Trevizo contributed to this report.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at or 615-255-0550.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
jpo3136 said...

These lawmakers are going to embarrass us all with these irrational and offensive law proposals.

February 10, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.
Brittanicus said...

No longer can this country afford to cater to those people who slip through immigration loopholes such as the instant-baby-citizenship of the 14th amendment and allowing the indigent parent to stay. This fraudulent enterprise on its own costs US citizens billions of dollars a year, especially when the rest of large family is smuggled into this land. We must stop coddling the destitute of other countries, and look to our own population below the poverty line. We must make E-Verify, 287 (g) policing authority, a mandatory high priority, with hefty fines, confiscation of company assets and painful prison sentences. Our country is in a serious situation, brought on by thirty years of illegal immigration neglect and now States have seen the writing on the wall and costs for education, health care and imprisonment, which the US government never reimburses? Those soft States that bow down to the illegal immigration invasion, will soon find themselves in a financial quaternary.

As more States insist on zero tolerance laws, millions of illegal nationals will exodus those regions and speedily head for places such as the Sanctuary State of California, Colorado, Utah and other location with their hands out for millions of dollars in public services and entitlements. This situation is happening now in the non-tolerant in the Grand Canyon State, as the illegal alien population is leaving and crowding into California and States where their is welfare and little or no enforcement laws.

Astronomical amounts of money in food stamps and too many freebies for illegal nationals to subsist on, thanks to both political parties. This blogger gets thousands of emails a day, which my response is a format letter. Just like Egyptian revolution, it’s up to the larger majority of the American people to stand up and protect and defend their citizenship, the US Constitution from Liberal progressives who would steal it from you. Make a point of joining the TEA Party, or a pro sovereignty organization such as NumbersUSA who allows free faxes to your lawmakers. Above all else place a call with the federal switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your Senate or Representative and speak your mind.

February 10, 2011 at 4:35 p.m.
Brittanicus said...

America will always need the highest skilled scientists, engineers and computer experts that will be highly sought after for their qualifications. These legal immigrants will never become a public charge, looking to apply for food stamps and public welfare. However what we don't need, nor should they be accommodated by the radical open border zealots, is the desperate, impoverished who slip into this nation without a penny. They are exploited by all different trade contractors, sub-contractors and any incorrigible employer such a "Chipotle" fast food group of eating houses hiring hundreds of illegal laborers. These are jobs that our own children can do or legal resident teens, which right now in this complex recession could make a little extra money for college. It is estimated there are at least 8 million foreigners in every caliber of jobs; not just using a leaf blower or bricklayer or janitorial services.

February 10, 2011 at 4:36 p.m.
StokeyBob said...

I wish everyone luck with this but the deck may be stacked. When I started looking into where the money was coming from to buy off the politicians and subvert the immigration laws of the world, I came across what may be the root of many of our problems. Fiat Money. No matter how much real money people can put together to build their countries the way they want there are those that can print up what ever it takes to get their way. Maybe this will help make the danger of fiat money clear. Imagine you and me are setting across from each other. We create enough money to represent all of the world's wealth. Each one of us has one SUPER Dollar in front of him. You own half of everything and so do I. I'm the government though. I get bribed into creating a Central Bank. You're not doing what I want you to be doing so I print up myself eight more SUPER Dollars to manipulate you with. All of a sudden your SUPER Dollar only represents one tenth of the wealth of the world! That isn't the only thing though. You need to get busy and get to work because YOU'VE BEEN STIFFED with the bill for the money I PRINTED UP to get YOU TO DO what I WANTED. That to me represents what has been happening to the economy, and us, and why so many of our occupations just can't keep up with the fake money presses. We are going to have to regain control of our government before we can regain control of our currency and regain control of our country.

February 12, 2011 at 12:17 a.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.