11:41am

Mon May 14, 2012
Defeat of "Harboring" Bill Considered a Victory

TIRRC Reviews the 107th General Assembly

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- WMOT News is asking news makers from across the political spectrum to offer their take on the just-completed 107th Tennessee General Assembly. Today the views of Eben Cathey of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.

Cathey says the Coalition counts as a legislative victory the defeat of a bill that would have made harboring or transporting an undocumented person a felony. He says the Council is happy that it’s worst fears for the legislative session were not realized.

“We’re pleased that Tennessee didn’t go down the same road as Alabama and Arizona, but we are concerned with a few bills that kind of lead us toward that; towards those anti-immigrant - failed policies of those states. We don’t want to see Tennessee become a state like Alabama or Arizona. We want Tennessee to be a welcoming state for all people.”

Legislators did enact one bill Cathey considers anti-immigrant. The Coalition unsuccessfully opposed Rep. Joe Carr’s "Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act,” which requires those applying for state services to prove they’re in Tennessee legally.