Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    State law in Tennessee bars illegal workers on contracts ... 291/MTCN01

    Sunday, 10/01/06

    State law bars illegal workers on contracts
    Employers argue immigration rules just political ploy

    Staff Writer

    Everyone from road builders to food vendors who do business with the state of Tennessee must pledge starting today that they don't knowingly hire illegal immigrants on state contracts.

    The combined effect of a new state law and an executive order signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen this month means state contracts starting this week will include anti-illegal immigration language, a provision that could affect about 2,500 contracts a year and millions of dollars in state work.

    Critics say the new rules are nothing more than election-year politicking — lots of hot air with little impact. The state hasn't decided exactly how it will enforce the new rules, leaving at least one contractors' group wondering what comes next and how invasive the new rules will be.

    "I can't argue that there's any problem with the state asking people to attest that they aren't knowingly hiring illegal immigrants," said Bob Pitts, the senior policy adviser for the Middle Tennessee chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. "The devil's in the details."

    Other employers don't think the state's new rules or Bredesen's order have a lot of teeth.

    Employers already are required by federal law to get documents from new hires proving they are eligible for work in the United States, and they must keep those records on file.

    "We already have numerous laws that cover that,'' said Jim Holland, president of staffing and human resources outsourcing agency, The Holland Group in Murfreesboro. "A state bureaucrat coming in and auditing personnel records is unfortunate at the least. I think it is overkill."

    A spokesman for Bredesen said the governor was reacting to inaction by Congress.

    "The state has to do something where the federal government hasn't acted," said the governor's spokesman, Bob Corney.

    Also, the state legislature passed a bill this year that goes into effect in January requiring all contractors to attest they aren't knowingly using illegal immigrants on state contracts and that they aren't knowingly using subcontractors who do.

    Bredesen added a few provisions in a Sept. 5 executive order, including giving the state the authority to randomly check, or audit, personnel files of state contractors.

    New contracts will start including wording about the changes this week. It normally takes two months or more before those contracts actually go into effect. Anyone who violates the law won't be allowed to get a state contract for one year.

    Robert Lea is assistant commissioner for the state Department of Finance and Administration, which is charged with promulgating the rules. He said no decision has been made on how many audits will be conducted each year, how they'll be conducted, and whether the state needs more staff to do the work.

    Keith Pyle, president of Ray Bell Construction Co., one of the largest contractors in the state, said he doesn't expect any problems for his company.

    "Obviously, we've never knowingly hired illegal immigrants or even after the fact, found we've hired illegal immigrants,'' he said. "The operative word here is knowingly. That's acceptable to us."

    Lea admits that proving someone knowingly hired illegal workers might be tough.

    "We're hoping we're providing some preventive medicine,'' Lea said. "We're putting contractors on notice. We intend to do business with those who don't hire illegal immigrants."

    The debate over illegal immigration is rampant nationally. Politicians in Tennessee and elsewhere have been spending lots of time trying to show voters they're doing something about it.

    Tennessee had an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 illegal immigrants last year, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The entire population of legal and illegal immigrants has grown about 43 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to the center, one of the top growth rates in the nation.

    Nationwide, the number of illegal immigrants in the country has grown at an average of about 408,000 per year, reaching about 11 million in 2006, according to the federal government's Office of Immigration Statistics.

    Bredesen committed Tennessee National Guard troops to patrol the border with Mexico earlier this year, following criticism by Republicans that he wasn't doing enough on the issue.

    His Republican opponent in the November gubernatorial election, Jim Bryson, has accused Bredesen of making Tennessee a mecca for illegal aliens.

    Bryson earlier this year stood at a press conference next to a woman whose parents were killed in a car accident blamed on an illegal immigrant.

    At least 32 other states have passed bills on immigration and related issues through August this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    About 550 bills were enacted over the same time period, the most since the conference started tracking such things in 1992.

    Contractors with the state of Colorado are required to use a voluntary federal program to verify the work-status of new hires. Idaho made workers' compensation and unemployment insurance available only to authorized workers and U.S. citizens.

    "States feel frustrated, particularly states that feel like they're bearing a burden,'' said Daniel Kanstroom, a Boston College immigration law professor.

    Ferrel Guillory, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, thinks the roots of the legislation go deeper.

    "The South, for almost all of its history, was defined by the relationship of white people to black people and black people to white people,'' said the co-author of the biennial "The State of the South" report on the region and its leadership.

    "The South has been all shook up by the advancement of the Latino population across the South. We are shifting from a biracial to a multiracial region,'' he said. "It's not surprising there are political repercussions."
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion
    16,029 ... s_id=52436

    Critics question fairness of state contractor bans
    By John Rodgers,
    October 02, 2006

    Though all state contracts now bar contractors from “knowingly” hiring illegal immigrants, critics doubt that the Bredesen Administration’s new initiative “fixes anything” and is “unfair” to illegal immigrants.

    Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration is including language in all state contracts requiring companies contracting with the state to certify they do not hire or employ illegal immigrants.

    John Finch, president of both the Associated General Contractors of Tennessee and Nashville-based Powell Building Group, said proving a contractor “knowingly” hired an illegal immigrant is tough since most contractors require documentation for all of their employees.

    Finch said employers have “no way to know” if the documents provided to them are “bogus.”

    “I have no problem with this process, but I don’t really see how it is going to change a lot,” Finch said. “I don’t see how it fixes anything. The answer is comprehensive, balanced immigration reform at the federal level.”

    Finch spoke conceptually since he has not seen details of the contract. He said his company does not employ illegal immigrants and he doesn’t know of any AGC contractors that do.

    It is already illegal in federal law, which applies locally and on the state level, for companies to knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

    Under the new contract guidelines, the only way the state can ensure contractors are not hiring illegal immigrants is through random checks of companies’ personnel records.

    Finch said, however, that contractors are under confidentially requirements regarding personnel records. He said opening those records could be a “trap that we might get caught in.”

    Lola Potter, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, which handles state contracts, said the state can check companies’ I-9 forms without infringing on confidentiality.

    Penalties for violators include fines, losing all state contracts and being barred from seeking state business for one year.

    Hispanic workers may also feel they’ve been caught in a trap.

    Yuri Cunza, the president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said businesses have encouraged illegal immigrants to come work and now politicians are saying undocumented workers are “not convenient” and “let’s get rid of them.”

    “It’s resulted in a perception that it’s OK to come, it’s OK to take a job, there will not be much of a verification process in place,” Cunza said. “It’s a little unfair as well because it has been encouraged for so long, and now you want to do away with everybody at once.”

    Bob Corker and Harold Ford Jr., the state’s U.S. Senate candidates, have made curbing illegal immigration a talking point in their campaigns. And Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Bryson (R-Franklin) has accused Bredesen of making Tennessee a “Mecca for illegal immigrants.”

    Bredesen, who has made immigration reform a priority since Congress didn’t pass a comprehensive immigration bill in June, has ordered his administration to conduct reviews to make sure illegals are not receiving state services, in addition to the new contract language.

    “These provisions will help ensure that state business does not go to companies that flaunt the law and employ illegal immigrants,” Bredesen said in a statement last week, adding that it was a “common sense” way for the state to address the issue while “we await federal action.”

    The contractors have to also obtain written attestations from their subcontractors that they are not “knowingly” employing illegal immigrants. The contractors must produce those written assertions on request from the state.

    Cunza questioned how companies could know if their subcontractors are employing illegal immigrants

    “The company that has hired the small company doesn’t know how the small company hired the people they are working with,” Cunza said.

    Finch said the “vast majority” of workers on any given worksite are subcontractors’ employees.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    New Plan Enforces Not Hiring Undocumented Workers

    Oct 2, 2006 04:49 PM PDT

    A new plan started Monday to make sure tax dollars aren't paying the wages of illegal immigrants.

    Govenor Bredesen recently signed a law that cracks down on state contractors who hire undocumented workers.

    The new plan begins as the Governor comes under fire for his record on immigration issues.

    The new measure is called Executive Order 41. It basically backs up a federal law that says businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants. But some said what the Governor is doing, is not enough.

    The state of Tennessee does business with more than 2,000 contractors a year. They employ thousands of people. But, is everyone they hire legal to work in Tennessee? Executive Order 41 addresses the issue.

    Starting Monday, "Contractors who begin the negotiation process with the state of Tennessee, will have specific contract language that puts them on notice that we will not accept the hiring of illegal immigrants in state business," Lola Potter with the Dept. Of Finance & Administration said.

    The language is now in state contracts. How they enforce it comes Jan. 1.

    "Where the state will actually be randomly searching businesses, and will be checking personnel files of businesses to make sure they have not hired illegal immigrants," Potter said.

    Businesses caught hiring illegal workers will face fines, and lose the state contract.

    Jim Bryson, who's gunning for Bredesen's job, believes more needs to be done about the issue.

    "Until I entered this race, Governor Bredesen did not feel that illegal immigration was an issue that the state needed to deal with," Bryson said.

    Senator Bryson is unveiling a 10-point plan for immigration reform. He claimed Bredesen has made Tennessee a "Mecca for Illegal Immigrants."

    "On April 17th, right here in this chamber, we passed legislation making it a felony to knowingly hire an illegal immigrant in the state of Tennessee. The Governor again, did not support it," Bryson said.

    It's still up in the air exactly how Executive Order 41 will be enforced.

    It could be left up to the individual departments to do the enforcing.

    Or, a central agency could be created to check the immigration status of the employees the state does business with.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts