Tennessee immigration bills face criticism - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee immigration bills face criticism

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Immigrant rights leaders are saying new laws proposed in Tennessee are a distraction.

Wednesday people from several groups in Memphis talked about the new proposed laws.

They cited a statewide poll released last week that indicated most Tennesseans say the economy should be a top priority.

"We feel that this type of legislation will cost money that we don't even have," say Mauricio Calvo, director of Latino Memphis.

"Arizona has gone into a federal lawsuit with the government. It has cost lots of money and hasn't really helped the problem."

The sponsor of one of the controversial bills said his proposal will make Tennessee a more attractive place.

"I think people will see Tennessee as that shining state on the hill and want to move here," says Republican Tennessee State Senator Bill Ketron. "Because we are doing the right things about being an American."

There are three proposed immigration laws.

One law would give law enforcement the ability to question the citizenship of anyone lawfully stopped.

Another would force anyone using any social services to produce proof of citizenship.

And the last one would force businesses to run background check to make sure potential employees are in the country legally.

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