Tennessee Senator Prepares to Fight for Arizona-Style Law in His State
Photo: Bill Ketron (left) with AZ's Gov. Jan Brewer, State Sen. Russell Pearce
As many already have, Tennessee is following in the legislative footsteps of Arizona when it comes to immigration, as Senator Bill Ketron is preparing a bill much like SB 1070 to make illegally being in the U.S. a criminal offense rather than a civil violation as the federal government classifies it now.
Though Ketron’s bill is still being drafted, he says he is planning to introduce it in mid-January after modifications are finished. Reports believe the bill to mirror Arizona’s in that is calls for police to check the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” is in the country undocumented, also giving them the power to detain said people and call immigration officials if the person cannot prove their legal residency.
Senator Ketron believes this bill is necessary, claiming the federal government’s failure to take action on immigration leaves the state no choice but to handle the issue themselves.
Former president of the Nashville Bar Association and Ketron’s other critics however, believe Arizona, Ketron, and others like them are using undocumented immigrants as “scapegoats,” and they are planning to fight Ketron’s bill with a campaign called “Tennessee for All of Us,” which they also have planned for January.