State Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) is co-sponsoring legislation aimed at illegal immigration in Tennessee.
The bills, each targeting specific areas of immigration policy, are intended to close enforcement loopholes, a release stated.
She is co-sponsoring the bills with senators from Springfield, Franklin and Huntington.
State Rep. Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin) has introduced the legislation in the State House.
"We're seeing many adverse effects resulting from illegal immigration in the State of Tennessee, and something has to be done about it," Durham said. "While Tennessee is forced to deal with the costs associated with illegal immigration, the federal government chooses to stand on the sidelines, purposefully ignoring existing legislation on these matters.
"Individuals who have entered this country illegally or have overstayed their visas are draining state and local resources with impunity. This abuse has taken resources away from people that actually need help, taken jobs from hard working people, and is a massive burden to Tennessee tax-payers. This package of legislation will strengthen our ability to hold these people, as well as those who choose to employ them, accountable."
The proposed legislation seeks to change or strengthen the law in five ways:
Prohibiting local governments who interfere with federal law pertaining to immigration from receiving Department of economic and community development aid.
Requiring the forfeiture of all state funding by any public institution of higher education who classifies a student who is not a United States citizen as a Tennessee resident.
Increasing the penalties imposed on businesses who employ illegal immigrants.
Removing a current exemption from employment verification requirements for businesses employing fewer than six people.
Requiring the department of labor and workforce development to report total number of final orders associated with illegal immigrant employment to the general assembly.