Tennessee lawmakers introduce the Migrant Resettlement Transparency Act
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Lawmakers in Tennessee have been asking the Biden Administration for clarity when it comes to migrant children entering in the state. On Wednesday, Senators Blackburn and Hagerty, along with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, introduced a bill called the Migrant Resettlement Transparency Act.
According to Senator Bill Hagerty, the new bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security to consult in advance with state and local officials regarding federally administered or funded migrant resettlement.
The two Senators and Congressman have been focused on the issue since reports surfaced that migrant children were flown into Chattanooga earlier this month.
We reached out to a local immigration attorney to find out if this bill is even needed.
Terry Olsen, an Attorney at Olsen Law Firm, says, “I think that most people should understand that we do have a system in place right now that there has been notice, adequate notice. In legal standard, notice is just simply that you are following the actual procedures set in place.”
Olsen adds that shelters for migrant children are required to notify the state about shelter specifics.
“Usually you have to update the state every month about what you are doing. Then, you will be updating whose there, what children are there and the contracts that you have”, adds Olsen.
One local activist says that migrant children coming to the United States is not a new concept and there are a number of reasons why families seek asylum here.
Omar Rodriguez with the NWGA Justice Coalition says, “There’s a lot of crime. There’s a lot of poverty and what one might get here in a day, one might get in a month or in a week in terms of salary for their work. So, a lot of it is just families wanting to move and have a chance at life.”