Haslam signs Tennessee law enhancing immigrant sentences - WSMV News 4

Haslam signs Tennessee law enhancing immigrant sentences

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Gov. Bill Haslam (WSMV file photo) Gov. Bill Haslam (WSMV file photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law giving Tennessee judges the authority to enhance sentences for defendants who were in the country illegally at the time of the crime.

According to the General Assembly's website, Haslam signed the bill on Friday. He had previously declined to tell reporters whether he had any concerns about the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Ron Gant of Rossville and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville.

Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris expressed disappointment about the governor signing the measure into law. The Memphis Democrat says the bill would treat criminal defendants convicted of the same crime differently depending on where they were born.

Harris said similar measures have been struck down by the courts in other states.

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