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Chattanooga Agencies Ask for Help to Fight Affects of Pilgrim's Pride Immigration Raid
Submitted by Reneé LaSalle for WDEF on June 2, 2008

The fallout from April's Immigration Raid continues in Chattanooga's immigrant community.

Local Social Service Agencies, already stretched to the max, have combined forces to help those affected.

Still, the need is great...

April 16th in Chattanooga hundreds of lives were disrupted in an immigration raid at Pilgrim's Pride Poultry Plant.

More than 100 accused illegal immigrants were arrested, leaving families without an income and children without caregivers.

Local social service agencies stepped in for assistance.
Immigration Status Won't Stop Marriage
News Channel 5, May 25, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A person's immigration status will no longer keep couples from getting a marriage license in Davidson County.

Since 1998, county clerks have asked for Social Security numbers or a passport and visa. That policy changed on Thursday after a state attorney general sided with a couple who sued Davidson County for refusing to issue them a marriage license. The couple was turned down because the groom didn't have the right documents.

Supporters said the change is good news for immigrants. But opponents said the new policy will make it harder to deport illegal immigrants.
Immigration Issue Heats Up
By Karen Zatkulak for News Channel 9, April 17, 2008

As the Pilgrim plant faces its future, many in the community face the situation in their own backyard. Wednesday's raid raised many questions among chattanoogans on the issue of immigration. As law enforcement decides the fate of the 100 they detained, residents here decide their opinion on the immigration issue that's now been brought into their nieghborhoods.

Netchi Lopez says, "Over the last 6 months there were rumors in the community about them coming to Pilgrim plant."

And yesterday those rumors became reality when immigration agents detained 100 people they say are living and working here with false identities. "If you came in this condition you knew that you were taking a risk, I think these people live knowing that anytime something is going to happen."

Lopez works at the Latin American Consulting Company and says she warns people that they need proper paperwork to live and work. But she says it's just so easy and common for people like the ones taken yesterday to get by the system. "It's sad, it is sad, I wish something could be done because they are already here."

But while Lopez says she was filled with sadness when the immigrants were brought out of the plant yesterday, others in the community, like Carol Gaddy, say they were nothing but happy. "I was just excited, I was happy to see our law enforcement and the actual lawful employees in our countries step out and begin to actuate something."
Federal Immigration Agents Arrest 34 in Memphis
Tennessean, March 25, 2008

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 34 workers at the Memphis airport Tuesday morning who are believed to be living and working in the country illegally.

The workers, all men who described themselves as natives of Mexico, were employed by various contractors and subcontractors building the new National Guard Air Base in Memphis.

ICE made the arrests at the Memphis International Airport while conducting a gate check at the worksite location. ICE initiated this investigation after receiving information from the United States Air Force, Office of Special Investigations that illegal aliens were believed to be employed there.

During fiscal year 2007, ICE arrested 863 individuals on criminal charges in worksite investigations, and detained another 4,077 illegal workers on immigration violations.
Nashville needs an immigration judge, officials say
By KATE HOWARD for the Tennessean, March 25, 2008

Although nearly 3,000 people were flagged as illegal immigrants in Nashville jails this past year, there's no judge in Nashville to hear their deportation cases.

Instead, they're sent on a lengthy and costly process to a bond hearing that often means six weeks of jail in three states before a detainee appears before a judge. The immigration enforcement program in Davidson County has grown so much that local officials and politicians are calling for a judge in Nashville to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and save taxpayer money.
Tennesseans get softer on illegal immigration - MTSU poll finds more Tennesseans say they would support a path to legal employment and residency for illegal immigrants
By JANELL ROSS for the Tennessean, March 14, 2008

More Tennesseans say they would support a path to legal employment and residency for illegal immigrants, a Middle Tennessee State University poll released this month revealed.

Nearly half polled — 47 percent — supported and 42 percent opposed the idea of a "guest worker" program. That's compared to the 50 percent who opposed such a program in last year's polling. This year, 63 percent polled said they would support a path to legal residency for guest workers, up from 54 percent.
Tennessee Legislature Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration
Brett Haas for WAAY TV, March 12, 2008

NASHVILLE, TN- The Tennessee legislature is taking aim at illegal immigration.

A proposal to make it a crime for illegal immigrants to accept pay for work done in Tennessee is headed for votes in both chambers of the General Assembly.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously yesterday to advance the proposal.

The measure calls for fines of $500-dollars, up to six months in jail and requires illegal immigrants to forfeit any earnings they receive.
Two Illegal Immigration Proposals Up For Vote
WTVF TV, March 6, 2008

CLARKSIVLLE, Tenn. - Two resolutions sponsored by Councilman Wallace Redd will be presented at Clarksville's City Council meeting on Thursday.

The first resolution, "Clarksville Homeland Security Officers Program," would ask police officers to report illegal immigrants. When an on-duty police officer comes across an illegal immigrant he or she would be encouraged to give that information to point person within the police department. That point person would then turn over the information to federal agencies.

The second resolution, "Clarksville Lawful Employment Policy," would create a warning statement. That statement would be issued to all businesses that ask for new or renewed licenses. The statement would remind employers that it is illegal on the local, state and federal level to employ illegal immigrants.
Tennessee: Tyson Lawsuit Is Thrown Out
AP, February 15, 2008

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit that accused Tyson Foods Inc. of hiring illegal immigrants to depress wages.
6 Illegal Immigrants Arrested In Maury Co.
JENNIFER LOVEN, (WKRN Nashville), 10/5/07

Federal authorities arrested six suspected illegal immigrants in Maury County.

The men, all from Guatemala, were working on an unidentified construction site in Columbia.

The Maury County Sheriff's Department said the company actually called them about the six employees when they noticed there was a problem with their social security numbers.