Friday, April 14, 2006

Tennessee lawmakers wade through state-level immigration proposals

A subcommittee of the Tennessee House of Representatives has killed a bill that would have imposed new immigration responsibilities on state troopers. In the Senate, a proposal to eliminate the administration of Tennessee's written driver's license exam in Spanish, Korean, and Japanese was changed so that the current translations would remain available.

Juan Canedo of the Hispanic Community Group of Tennessee (Grupo Comunitario Hispano de Tennessee) appeared before the House subcommittee warning that the state trooper proposal would lead to racial profiling. The Tennessean quoted Janice Snow Rodriguez, executive director of the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, as saying that the proposed elimination of exam translations "comes down to discrimination," because "[p]eople who are in every other way within their right to get a driver's license [would be] denied that opportunity."

Related stories:
Knoxville Sentinel

Nashville City Paper

Chattanooga Free Press

The Tennessean

Members of both political parties have warned immigration restrictionists that the integration of the legal and illegal populations requires careful assessment of immigration-related laws, and that political manipulation of the issue will do more harm than good (see stories here, here and here).

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