On April 5, 2018, ICE raided a Grainger County meat packing plant in East Tennessee. The meat packing plant owners had failed to pay $2.5million in federal payroll taxes by hiring undocumented workers. The owners have still not been charged with anything. 97 people from the meat packing plant were detained and 10 were arrested. Children were left without parents and families were torn apart.
I support the proposed legislation by State Senator Jeff Yarbro:
- “Directly or indirectly” employing 50 or more undocumented immigrants would be a considered a Class E felony if the employer has “reason to know” their workers lack authorization to work in the country.
- If ICE agents were to detain or deport an employer’s workers, the appropriate district attorney would launch an investigation into whether any health, safety, tax, employment and wage theft laws were violated in the workplace.
- Employers convicted of knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants could be required to pay restitution to “the state, any local government, or any United States citizen” to cover costs “including lost wages and costs for the care and education of the dependents” of workers who are detained or deported.
Ultimately we need to talk about a path toward citizenship. I believe we should pass a bill in the state house to allow immigrant children to have in-state tuition. I also support Sanctuary Cities.