Potential for Abuse? Potential?

I don’t know how I missed this, but thanks to KAG over at Knoxville Talks, I’ve learned of the “success” of the latest efforts to weed out illegal immigrants from our state.

Five months after Tennessee’s “Illegal Alien Employment Act” became law and threatened to penalize business owners found more than once to have knowingly employed illegal workers, no company has been fined or lost its business license.

I bring this up in light of Yuri Cunza’s comment at the end of the article KAG links to.

Yuri Cunza, president of the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, wants to see more substantial requirements for complaints.

“We can see the clear potential for abuse, for profiling, for very flimsy complaints. There does need to be enforcement of the law, controls on bad businesses owners. ? But these kinds of complaints are ? very medieval, primitive,” he said.

But look here at the beginning of the article.

One complaint claimed a Nashville restaurant and club worker overstayed their visa and that the businesses’ owner knew it. The other involved workers at a Murfreesboro logistics company and a pair of employment agencies that allegedly supplied it with illegal workers.

Senator files 2 complaints

Both complaints were filed by Murfreesboro state Sen. Bill Ketron. Unidentified individuals, not Ketron, filed the seven complaints that remain sealed, Bailey said.

On Feb. 8, Ketron filed a complaint alleging that a single employee worked at two businesses owned by a single owner–Tribe, a Church street restaurant and night club, and Play, a neighboring club–despite having an expired visa.

But, the complaint indicated that the owner was able to supply I-9s for all of the company’s 45 employees. No penalties were assessed. Attempts to reach Tribe and Play, its combined corporate office and the owner were unsuccessful.

Am I the only one who finds that just a hair suspect?

Of all the places in the state that might knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and of the nine complaints anyone actually bothered to file, one was against Tribe & Play?


That doesn’t strike anyone else as weird, that a Republican from Murfreesboro would be filing complaints about workers in Tribe or Play? Not to put too fine a point on it, but what’s Senator Ketron doing in Tribe or Play in the first place, to notice whether their employees seemed sufficiently legal?

In other words, I find it highly unlikely that Ketron was just enjoying a nice night out with the boys when he happened to notice a situation that seemed like it might be leading to the hiring of illegal immigrants and much more likely that this is an instance of a cudgel for wielding against one social “problem” being wielded against another.

And I’d be curious to know why.

5 thoughts on “Potential for Abuse? Potential?

  1. No, B, no. Clearly, a constituent of Ketron’s was out for a night with the boys, and they decided to come up to the big city, but, country mice that he was, he got lost and ended up in the wrong sort of place. The sort of place where innocent guys congregating for good clean fun find that they are shockingly confronted by (shudder) non-citizens! And it seemed so horrifying to him that he dashed out, singing “Mama Told Me Not To Come.” The next day, he felt kind of dirty and ashamed that he had been in company with people who hadn’t grown up speaking English, so he went to his State Senator to find out if there wasn’t something the Senator could do to help prevent other poor innocents from the ‘Boro from feeling so besmirched. And the Senator, good American that he is, immediately suspected that those foreigners weren’t there legally. And tried to do something about it.

    I would have some fun with Cunza calling the complaints based on the IAEA ‘medieval,’ but unfortunately people of the middle ages complained about foreigners all the time, so he’s actually accurate. You’d have thought we’d have learned something from historical mass expulsions, though.

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