Bill proposes penalties for individuals who knowingly transport undocumented immigrants into Tennessee

The debate over undocumented immigrants is not confined to Washington D.C. It is also taking place at the Tennessee State Capitol.

Rep. Bryan Richey, a Republican from Maryville, has proposed a new bill that aims to impose fines on individuals who knowingly transport undocumented immigrants into the state of Tennessee.

Last week, when the bill was under scrutiny in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, there were numerous inquiries raised regarding the new legislation in Tennessee. Although it is already considered illegal according to state law, the proposed legislation aims to further prohibit common carriers, such as Delta Airlines or Greyhound Buslines, from participating in this activity.

“Is it correct that if they were and he failed to do so, he would be personally fined?” inquired Rep. John Gillespie, a R-Shelby County.

According to Rep. Richey, the sponsor of the House version, if the pilot knowingly transported the materials mentioned in the legislation, they could be fined. The legislation specifically includes provisions for both knowing and reckless actions.

According to Rep. Richey, airline pilots and bus drivers may be fined $5,000 for each undocumented immigrant they transport. Republican leaders have defended the bill, stating that they aim to ensure that the offender knowingly breaks the law.

According to Rep. William Lamberth, the House Majority Leader and a Portland Republican, it is important to distinguish between individuals who unknowingly or unwittingly transport someone and those who knowingly transport illegal immigrants. He clarifies that bus drivers, for example, should not be required to check everyone’s identification on a bus. However, if someone knowingly transports an illegal immigrant into the state, they should face penalties as it is already illegal. Rep. Lamberth voted in favor of the bill in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

Naturally, the bill faces opposition from Democrats who argue that it is discriminatory.

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