NASHVILLE -- Several Republican legislators are headed to Arizona later this month to deliver a resolution to Gov. Jan Brewer showing Tennessee’s support for their new immigration law.
The Republican lawmakers, led by state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Murfreesboro) and state Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), will also meet with sponsors of the Arizona law and attend an educational seminar, which details provisions of the new law.
Carr and state Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) were lead sponsors of House Joint Resolution 1253, which passed the Tennessee General Assembly earlier this year commending Arizona for their bold move on immigration policies.
That resolution became law without the governor’s signature on June 22.
The Arizona act, which codifies at the state level the existing federal law with regard to illegal immigrants being in the country unlawfully, allows law enforcement officials to require citizenship documentation on any person who is detained or arrested.
Carr and Ketron are planning to introduce similar legislation in Tennessee next year.
“We have a couple of purposes for this trip,” Ketron said. “We want to speak with the sponsors of the bill about some of the details of this new law. Plus, we want to get a closer look at how the matter is being handled since it was passed, including what educational tools are being utilized to help law enforcement implement these measures.”
They also want to show Arizona that Tennessee is in support of their new law, Carr said.
“The resolution in support of this new law was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives and our state Senate," Carr said. "Individual states and cities across the country are tired of the inaction by the federal government to do their job in protecting our borders.”
Arizona spends more than $2.7 billion every year on illegal immigrants.
The estimate for the cost of illegal immigration in Tennessee is $453 million, while the nationwide cost is estimated to be $113 billion.
Ketron and Carr said the trip, which may include up to eight Republican legislators, would not be paid for at government expense. The lawmakers will leave on July 30 and return on July 31.