The Tennessean
February 6, 2012

A state House bill that would allow law enforcement to check the immigration status of someone pulled over or detained was put on hold last week, at least for the moment.

The Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act was moved behind the budget by a House finance subcommittee Wednesday morning. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, acknowledged that the move, made until an estimated $3 million can be generated to implement the measure, slows its progress.

“Putting it behind the budget doesn’t kill it,” he said. “It basically parks it.”

The bill would allow law enforcement to check someone’s immigration status if an officer reasonably suspects a person already stopped or detained isn’t a citizen or legal immigrant.

The bill also would create a training program for law enforcement about immigration laws.

“We are prioritizing the state’s stance on illegal immigration based on the financial resources we have,” Carr said.

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