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Legislature Passes More Laws To Fight Illegal Immigration

This information comes from the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, MD, R-Hohenwald, who represents Giles, Lewis, and parts of Marshall, Maury and Williamson counties in the State Legislature.

Tennessee Stands With Texas In Fight To Secure Our Southern Border

• Lawmakers passed a resolution supporting Texas in the fight against illegal immigrants flooding into the United States at the southern border.

• Because the federal government has failed to protect our border, Texas has the right to defend itself from this invasion.

• Overwhelming chaos at the border is enabling terrorists and drug cartels to invade our country undetected with the intention of harming America and our citizens. Many are trafficking deadly drugs and young girls.

• This has to stop. Tennessee stands with Texas.

Support Gov. Lee’s moves to send Tennessee troops to Texas to help our country regain control of the nation’s southern border.

  • In October 2023, 125 Soldiers from the Tennessee National Guard’s 1175th Transportation Company deployed for a year-long mission at the Southwest border.

  • This year, Gov. Lee committed to send two additional waves of Tennessee National Guard troops to assist.

  • The General Assembly allocated $6.4 million to fund this military deployment to the border.

Banned Sanctuary Cities

  • Lawmakers in the General Assembly passed a law in 2018 to ensure that no local government can shield illegal aliens from state and federal immigration laws.

Strengthened Sanctuary City Ban

  • This year we passed a law to require all law enforcement in Tennessee to notify the appropriate federal authorities if an individual is found in the country illegally.

  • Under previous state law, notification was authorized but not required.

Pushed back against federal refugee resettlement program

• A measure was passed to ensure Tennessee could act legally against the federal government’s refugee resettlement program.

• It gave the General Assembly authority to seek outside counsel to file suit against the refugee resettlement program if the Tennessee Attorney General failed to do so. 

Required Reporting For Refugee Resettlement Programs In Tennessee

• It requires any entity that administers the state's refugee program to submit quarterly reports to legislative committees regarding resettlement information, so the state can be aware of all refugees in Tennessee.

Ensured Illegal Immigrants Do Not Receive Public Benefits

• We passed legislation authorizing state agencies to prohibit an unlawful alien from receiving any “non-emergency” taxpayer-provided benefits in Tennessee. 

• Agencies could use the “Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act” to keep unlawful aliens from receiving benefits.

• Excludes prenatal care.

Restricted Employment Of illegal immigrants, protected businesses

  • Prohibited local governments from issuing government ID cards to illegal immigrants.

  • Created a Class A misdemeanor offense to knowingly provide, transfer or submit a fake identification for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining employment.

  • Gave employers the right to institute an English-in-the-workplace policy.

  • Increased penalties for those who employ illegal immigrants.

  • Created a civil penalty and $500 fine per day if an employer fails to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees. 

  • Some bad actors would have rather paid the previous one-time fine of $500 for hiring an illegal alien.

Closed Loopholes For illegal immigrants Seeking IDs and Driver's Licenses

• Required any applicant presenting a driver’s license from a state that issues them to illegal aliens, to establish proof of United States citizenship or legal residency when applying for one in Tennessee.

• Prohibited local governments from issuing ID cards that can be used as a government ID card.

Implemented Stronger Penalties For Crimes And Violations Committed By Illegal Immigrants

  • Gave judges ability to enhance penalties for crimes committed by those who were illegally or unlawfully in the US at the time the offense was committed.

  • Gives judge’s discretion to enhance sentences for illegal aliens who commit crimes.

  • Another law allows court clerks to set a higher bail for traffic violations committed by illegal immigrants deemed a flight risk.

Reduced Abuse Of Education System

  • Gave the Department of Safety and Homeland Security authority to subpoena an institution of higher education regarding students in Tennessee on F-1 or M-1 visas.

Consistently Supported Immigration Reform And Border Wall At Federal Level

  • Urged Congress to fund construction of President Trump’s border wall.

  • Encouraged the President and Congress to pass meaningful immigration policy reform.

Sen. Hensley may be contacted at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville ,TN ., 37243, or call 615-741-3100, or call toll free at 1-800-339-8266, extension 13100, or fax 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald, TN., 38462, or telephone 931-796-2018, or call his cell phone at 931-212-8823, or e-mail:

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