02/7/12 Alabama Copycat Bill Hits Road Block -- Legislators Respond to Public Outcry Against HB 2191
NASHVILLE – House Bill 2191, the controversial bill that would make driving a car with an undocumented immigrant passenger a felony, was taken off notice by the House Judiciary committee this morning. In the last week, Tennesseans have flooded representatives with phone calls and emails opposing the measure after seeing it advance through the Judiciary subcommittee. The bill is almost an exact replica of a provision from Alabama’s sweeping anti-immigrant law, and a study released late last week by the University of Alabama <http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-alabama-immigration-economytre8102qa-20120201,0,1000185.story> indicates that the Alabama law has already cost the state up to $10.8 billion.
The following is a statement from Stephen Fotopulos, Executive Director of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition:
"Today’s committee decision is a good sign that the legislature sees the value in maintaining Tennessee’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live. We are encouraged that Tennessee lawmakers are also recognizing the need to keep safe distance from Alabama’s failed immigration experiment. The broad and effective opposition to Shipley’s bill should serve as a flashing, caution sign to other state lawmakers planning to divert scarce legislative resources with costly, anti-immigrant proposals."