Immigration reform has been the subject of protests at the state capitol, and now there are three new plans to crack down.
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Lawmakers rolled out a plan Wednesday to battle illegal immigration on three different fronts in Tennessee.
A similar measure that formed part of Arizona's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law that passed last year is currently the subject of a federal suit.
First, like Arizona, Tennessee lawmakers want police to ask suspects about their immigration status. They also want companies to make sure the people they employ are legal to work in the United States, and public agencies will be asked to make sure anyone getting taxpayer-funded benefits is legal.
Carr, from Lascassas, and Senate sponsor Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, would not say specifically how their legislation differed from the enforcement measure in the Arizona bill. They did say they believed their bill would survive a court challenge.
That may be put to the test. American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee executive director Hedy Weinberg said afterward that the group would pursue litigation if the bill passed unchanged.
"It invites racial profiling, hinders public safety and betrays core American values of equality and fairness," she said.
Ketron said in the news conference that "profiling is not acceptable."
According to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, states passed 346 immigration-related laws and resolutions last year -- a record number. Six states introduced bills similar to Arizona's, but none of them were enacted. So far this year, 11 states have introduced Arizona-style bills.