State of Tennessee Archives: on Immigration


Marquita Bradshaw: Support DACA, pathway to citizenship for undocumented

I support DACA. We should always be the beacon for families looking for better opportunities to find refuge from oppression, tyranny, violence, and prosecution. We should stop criminalizing and splitting up families seeking asylum. I support restoring DACA protections and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website MarquitaBradshaw.com Aug 26, 2020

Manny Sethi: End birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants

Last year, Sethi released a three-point plan on immigration that consists of building the border wall across the southern border of the U.S. and returning to a merit-based immigration system and ending birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants. "Right now people come over--low-skilled immigrants--and they can't survive and so end up on benefits," he said. "We need people who make meaningful contributions to society."
Source: Hartsville Vidette on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Jun 6, 2020

Manny Sethi: We're giving away our nation

I'm the son of two LEGAL immigrants. They stood in line, waited their turn, and came here the right way, becoming doctors in rural Tennessee. I support President Trump's effort to build the wall, and support ICE. It simply isn't right for people to illegally cross our borders unchecked or overstay their visas with no consequences. Giving benefits to those who come here illegally isn't protecting the rule of law. We're giving away our nation.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website, DrMannyForSenate.com Jan 12, 2020

Bill Hagerty: Opposes amnesty, DACA, and sanctuary cities

Bill will work with President Trump to build the wall and ensure that existing immigration laws are fully enforced. He opposes amnesty and DACA, believes illegal aliens who commit crimes must be deported, and will work to stop sanctuary cities in Tennessee and across the country. Bill supports moving towards a merit based immigration system and common sense solutions like requiring illegal aliens traveling with children to take a DNA test to prove their familial relationship.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website TeamHagerty.com Dec 24, 2019

Manny Sethi: We need a merit-based system to admit immigrants

When the issue of illegal immigration is raised, Sethi said his mother "gets fired up." "I waited my turn," his mother will say. "I stood in line." It's the same feeling Sethi feels today. Not only should immigrants go through the proper channels to become citizens, the U.S. should also be selective in who arrives here to live. "We need a merit-based system," he said. "Skilled workers who can thrive." He also supports the Trump Administration's push to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
Source: Cleveland Banner on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Dec 19, 2019

Bill Lee: Benefits for illegal immigrants is the wrong strategy

Q: Support DACA, allowing "Dreamers" who arrived illegally as children, then grew up in the US, to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions?

Karl Dean (D): Yes. Congress should figure out a solution to retain DACA. Favors in-state tuition for DACA recipients: "They grew up here and went to school and church here. They are Tennesseans."

Bill Lee (R): No. "Setting up additional benefits for illegal immigrants is the wrong strategy." Opposes in-state tuition for DACA recipients.

Q: Immigration: Support path to citizenship for America's 11 million illegal immigrants?

Karl Dean (D): Yes. Supports earned path to citizenship.

Bill Lee (R): No.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Tennessee Governor race Oct 9, 2018

Karl Dean: Earned path to citizenship; they are Tennesseans

Q: Support DACA, allowing "Dreamers" who arrived illegally as children, then grew up in the US, to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions?

Karl Dean (D): Yes. Congress should figure out a solution to retain DACA. Favors in-state tuition for DACA recipients: "They grew up here and went to school and church here. They are Tennesseans."

Bill Lee (R): No. "Setting up additional benefits for illegal immigrants is the wrong strategy." Opposes in-state tuition for DACA recipients.

Q: Immigration: Support path to citizenship for America's 11 million illegal immigrants?

Karl Dean (D): Yes. Supports earned path to citizenship.

Bill Lee (R): No.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Tennessee Governor race Oct 9, 2018

Marsha Blackburn: No amnesty for DREAMers; it makes illegal immigration surge

Q: Support DACA, allowing "Dreamers" who arrived illegally as children, then grew up in the US, to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions?

Marsha Blackburn (R): No. Deal with compassionately but DACA "offered the false hope of amnesty that led to a surge of illegal immigration."

Phil Bredesen (D): Yes. "Deporting them back to a country that's not theirs and they don't know would be a terrible un-American kind of thing to do."

Q: Support path to citizenship for America's 11 million illegal immigrants?

Marsha Blackburn (R): "No amnesty. We cannot have individuals get in the queue before others who have been going through the legal immigration process. Period."

Phil Bredesen (D): Maybe. "Need to control borders," but if "willing to learn English and pay their taxes and not have convictions for serious crimes. some sort of a path to become permanent residents and possibly citizens."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Tennessee Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Phil Bredesen: Deporting DREAMers would be un-American

Q: Support DACA, allowing "Dreamers" who arrived illegally as children, then grew up in the US, to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions?

Marsha Blackburn (R): No. Deal with compassionately but DACA "offered the false hope of amnesty that led to a surge of illegal immigration."

Phil Bredesen (D): Yes. "Deporting them back to a country that's not theirs and they don't know would be a terrible un-American kind of thing to do."

Q: Support path to citizenship for America's 11 million illegal immigrants?

Marsha Blackburn (R): "No amnesty. We cannot have individuals get in the queue before others who have been going through the legal immigration process. Period."

Phil Bredesen (D): Maybe. "Need to control borders," but if "willing to learn English and pay their taxes and not have convictions for serious crimes. some sort of a path to become permanent residents and possibly citizens."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Tennessee Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Bill Lee: Build the border wall built and forbid sanctuary cities

The governor's first duty is to Secure the public & Enforce the rule of law. That's why we will never have sanctuary cities when I'm Governor. The Wall - You can't have a nation without borders. Our leaders need to follow through on their promise to build the wall, and we'll do what the President needs us to do to secure the border. Sanctuary Cities - They're illegal, and by definition they encourage lawlessness. They won't happen when I'm governor.
Source: 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial website BillLee.com Jul 4, 2018

James Mackler: Don't separate kids from parents crossing border illegally

James recalled, "Just a few days ago, Jeff Sessions said anyone who comes across the border (illegally) is going to be arrested, and if they have children, we are going to separate them from their children. That's not what this country is about and those aren't the values I joined the army to fight for. It can get discouraging, but for me it's motivation. If not now, then when?"
Source: Out & About Nashville on 2018 Tennessee Senate race Jun 7, 2018

Bill Haslam: College tuition break for in-state undocumented immigrants

The Republicans at the State Collaborative on Reforming Education forum voiced opposition to offering the tuition break at state higher education institutions. "It doesn't seem fair to me that we would offer something in college tuition to an immigrant that was here illegally that we wouldn't offer to an American citizen from Georgia," businessman Bill Lee said.

The push to make that change has come up just short in the Republican-led General Assembly in recent years. Term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has backed the measure, which has wide support in polls.

Former Nashville Democratic Mayor Karl Dean likewise voiced support for the change, and responded directly to Lee's comment about Georgia, drawing a rare round of applause. "They grew up here. They went to school here. They have families here. They have friends here. And they're different than Georgians because they're Tennesseans," Dean said. "They're part of our community."

Source: U.S. News & World Report on 2018 Tennessee governor debate Jan 23, 2018

Karl Dean: Immigrants are part of community; college tuition break ok

The Republicans at the State Collaborative on Reforming Education forum voiced opposition to offering the tuition break at state higher education institutions. "It doesn't seem fair to me that we would offer something in college tuition to an immigrant that was here illegally that we wouldn't offer to an American citizen from Georgia," businessman Bill Lee said.

The push to make that change has come up just short in the Republican-led General Assembly in recent years. Term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has backed the measure, which has wide support in polls.

Former Nashville Democratic Mayor Karl Dean likewise voiced support for the change, and responded directly to Lee's comment about Georgia, drawing a rare round of applause. "They grew up here. They went to school here. They have families here. They have friends here. And they're different than Georgians because they're Tennesseans," Dean said. "They're part of our community."

Source: U.S. News & World Report on 2018 Tennessee governor debate Jan 23, 2018

David Kustoff: Secure the border & enforce laws already on the books

Ending Illegal Immigration: We must secure the border and enforce the laws already on the books. Period. As United States Attorney I enforced the laws and sent criminals back to their country of origin.

President Obama's immigration executive orders are unconstitutional and must be reversed. Illegal immigration is also a national security issue. A secure country must have secure borders. Our fight against ISIS and other terrorists must include securing the border.

I am for legal immigration, but our system is broken. We must fix our system and allow those who play by the rules to become productive members of our society.

Source: 2016 Tennessee House campaign website KustoffForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Gordon Ball: Fair and just path to citizenship

Our country owes its very existence to immigrants. America is unique precisely because we embrace so many differences. That diversity makes us stronger, more innovative, and more creative. It always has. Our descendants were immigrants. Millions of Americans can tell countless stories, all of them uniquely American, and reaching back for generations, about their immigrant-ancestors.
    We need common sense immigration reform that will contain two basic components:
  1. It must uphold existing laws, protecting our borders and enforcing our laws against recruiting, hiring, and exploiting undocumented workers.
  2. It must be fair to all taxpayers and to legal immigrants. We must have a fair and just path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, one that would require them to pay taxes and be registered before their path to citizenship begins.
This type of reform will be true to the rule of law, to America's tradition as a nation of immigrants, and to our need to invest in America's future.
Source: 2014 Tennessee Senate campaign website, GordonBallSenate.com Aug 7, 2014

Joe Carr: AdWatch: Border crisis was created by giving amnesty to 11M

Sen. Lamar Alexander's (R-TN) primary challenger, state Rep. Joe Carr, picked up another national Tea Party endorsement on the same day he released a new statewide radio ad. The issue at the center of both the Tea Party Patriots' endorsement and Carr's new ad is Alexander's alleged support for "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, a charge Carr has made central to his campaign against the senator.

The Tea Party Patriots endorsement praised Carr as a "genuine leader" in the fight against illegal immigration, criticizing Alexander for being one of the 14 Republicans to vote for the reform bill that passed the Senate last year.

Carr's radio ad hits Alexander on his support for the immigration measure, charging that the senator "voted with Democrats to pass a bill creating a border crisis by giving amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens."

Source: The Hill weblog AdWatch on 2014 Tennessee Senate race Jul 10, 2014

Bob Tuke: More border security; more enforcement

I can summarize my solution for illegal immigration in one word: “enforcement.” Enforce border security. Enforce the laws on the books, and penalize businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers in order to protect American jobs.
Source: www.tukefortennessee.com, “Issues” Apr 4, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Tennessee Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Immigration:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 29, 2021