Reported By Cara Kumari
NASHVILLE, Tenn.With the budget out of the way, the state Senate is passing the remainder of its bills. But lawmakers also took time to weigh in on another state's controversial piece of legislation.
It's a resolution that congratulates the state of Arizona for passing legislation to deal with illegal immigration. While the resolution does nothing but offer support, it is stirring up emotions.
"There's no factual reason for doing this," said Sen. Doug Henry. "All you're doing is insulting people who are trying to make a better life for themselves."
"In Mount Juliet, we've had two couples that were killed by illegals driving drunk. That's when it becomes our business," said Sen. Mae Beavers.
Arizona's law requires police to question the immigration status of those they detain or arrest if they suspect they are in the country illegally.
"This new Arizona law just mirrors federal law, which already requires aliens to register and carry their documents with them," Sen. Jim Tracy said.
Some state lawmakers question why Tennessee wants to jump into someone else's fight when there could be costly consequences.
"There's a huge economic price being paid in Arizona for the actions that they've taken, and I think it would bode ill for us to have those same economic consequences to hit Tennessee when we're already trying to overcome a natural disaster," said Sen. Beverly Marrero.
Next year, lawmakers could go from congratulating Arizona to emulating Arizona. State lawmakers said they intend to introduce legislation similar to the one that Arizona passed.
The resolution passed 17-7, with several lawmakers not voting. The House passed the same resolution last week.
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