Lundberg – Fighting Illegal Immigration 2008 – 2024

  • I am proud to have consistently supported and passed legislation over the last decade and a half to crack down on illegal immigration and protect our communities.
  • While immigration is largely a federal issue, for decades the federal government has failed to uphold their end of the bargain. 
  • That’s why in Tennessee, Republicans have fought for years to push back against the federal government locating illegal immigrants here, while also doing what we can to help secure the border. 
  • We’ve banned sanctuary cities in Tennessee and worked to keep illegal immigrants from taking advantage of Tennessee taxpayers. 

Unequivocally support Texas’s right to secure their border

  • Voted to support Texas in the fight against illegal immigrants flooding into the United States at the southern border. (SJR 906 , 2024)
    • Because the federal government has failed to do its job to protect our border, Texas absolutely has the right to defend itself from this invasion.
    • The overwhelming chaos at the border is enabling terrorists and drug cartels to invade our country undetected with the intention of doing harm to America and our citizens. Many are trafficking deadly drugs and young girls. 
    • This has to stop. We stand with Texas.
  • I also support Governor Lee’s actions to send hundreds of Tennessee National Guard troops to the border to help our country regain control. Currently, more than 125 soldiers from the Tennessee National Guard’s 1175th Transportation Company are completing a year-long deployment. 
    • This year, Governor Lee committed to send two additional waves of troops in the Tennessee National Guard troops to assist in the efforts.
    • The General Assembly allocated $6.4 million in the budget to fund this military deployment to the border 

Banned Sanctuary Cities 

  • Republicans in the General Assembly passed a law in 2018 to ensure that no local government can shield illegal aliens from state and federal immigration laws. (Public Chapter 973 , Lundberg co-sponsor passed in 2018)

Strengthened Sanctuary City Ban

  • This year we passed a law to require all law enforcement in Tennessee to notify the appropriate federal authorities if an individual they come into contact with is found to be in the country illegally. (Senate Bill 2576 – transmitted to governor)
  • Under previous state law, notification was authorized but not required.

Reports on illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Tennessee / SB 757 and SB 2158

  • I voted for two laws passed this year to increase reporting requirements regarding illegal immigrants. 
  • These reports will be used to understand the fiscal impact of illegal immigration on Tennessee. 
  • Senate Bill 757 would require a local law enforcement agency to verify a detainee’s citizenship. 
    • If not lawfully present, a report must be made to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. 
  • Senate Bill 2158 requires the District Attorneys General Conference to collect data on the cost incurred by the state as a direct result of known illegal immigrants charged or convicted of a criminal offense and report the findings to the General Assembly and Governor. 
    • $383,500 was allocated in the budget to fund this legislation to ensure the DA’s Conference has necessary resources to compile the report.

Senate Bill 757 / sponsored by Haile, Jackson, Hensley, Taylor, Walley, White, Yager, Crowe / Effective Date: July 1, 2024 / Transmitted to Governor

Senate Bill 2158 / sponsored by Haile, Yager, Jackson, Stevens, White / Effective Date: January 1, 2025 / Transmitted to Governor

Increasing punishment for illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes / SB 2770

  • This law allows a judge to sentence an illegal immigrant to life without parole if convicted of a violent crime or if a deadly weapon was involved in the offense. 
    • It also authorizes the same enhancement for adults convicted of a violent crime on school property. 
  • The arrest of an illegal immigrant and all subsequent convictions must be reported to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The data will be used to help understand the impact of illegal immigration on Tennessee. 

Senate Bill 2770 / sponsored by Bowling, Stevens, Taylor / Effective Date: July 1, 2024 / passed Senate 4/18/24

Pushed back against federal refugee resettlement program

  • Passed a measure to ensure Tennessee could take legal action against the federal government’s refugee resettlement program. (SJR 467, 2016).
    • It gave the General Assembly the authority to seek outside counsel to file suit against the refugee resettlement program if the Tennessee Attorney General failed to do so.  
  • In 2011, I co-sponsored legislation to require reporting for refugee resettlement programs in Tennessee.  (Public Chapter 316, 2011 – Lundberg co-sponsor) 
    • It requires any entity that administers the state’s refugee program to submit quarterly reports to state and local governments and legislative committees regarding resettlement information, so that Tennessee can be aware of all refugees in Tennessee..
    • It is imperative that the state be aware of the number and location of all refugees settled in Tennessee as a result of the federal program.

Ensured Illegal immigrants do no receive public benefits

  • We passed legislation authorizing state agencies to prohibit an unlawful alien from receiving any “non-emergency” taxpayer-provided benefits in Tennessee.  (Public Chapter 1061, 2012.
    • Agencies could use the “Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act” to keep unlawful aliens from receiving benefits. 
    • Excludes prenatal care

Restricted employment of illegal immigrants, protected businesses

  • Prohibited local governments from issuing government ID cards to illegal immigrants. (Public Chapter 1053, 2018)
  • Created a Class A misdemeanor offense to knowingly provide, transfer or submit a fake identification for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining employment. (Public Chapter 155, 2009) 
  • Gave employers the right to institute an English-in-the-workplace policy (Public Chapter 1089, 2010)
    • The law clarified it is not discriminatory for employers to require English to be spoken in the workplace because there are legitimate business and operational reasons that only English should be spoken in the workplace.
  • Increased penalties for those who employ illegal immigrants. (Public Chapter 828, 2016
    • Created a civil penalty and $500 fine per day if an employer fails to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees.  
    • Some bad actors would have rather paid the previous one-time fine of $500 for hiring an illegal alien.

Closed loopholes for illegal immigrants seeking IDs and Driver’s Licenses

  • Required any applicant presenting a driver’s license from a state that issues them to illegal aliens, to establish proof of United States citizenship or legal residency when applying for one in Tennessee (Public Chapter 665, 2016) 
  • (Repeat from employment section) Prohibited local governments from issuing ID cards that can be used as a government ID card. (Public Chapter 1053, 2018)

Implemented stronger penalties for crimes and violations committed by illegal immigrants

  • Enhanced penalties for crimes committed by those who were illegally or unlawfully in the US at the time the offense was committed (Public Chapter 492, 2017)
    • Gives judges discretion to enhance sentences for illegal aliens who commit crimes. 
  • Also voted to allow court clerks to set a higher bail for traffic violations committed by illegal immigrants deemed a flight risk. (Public Chapter 1011, 2012)

Reduced abuse of education system 

  • Gave the Department of Safety and Homeland Security the authority to subpoena an institution of higher education regarding students who are in Tennessee on F-1 or M-1 visas.  (Public Chapter 812, 2016)
    • Gives the Department more information about students in Tennessee on a student visa but are not attending classes.  

Consistently supported immigration reform and border wall at federal level

  • Urged Congress to fund construction of President Trump’s border wall (House Joint Resolution 741, 2018) 
  • Encouraged the President and Congress to pass meaningful immigration policy reform. (HJR 70, 2016)