Several Tennessee lawmakers will take a trip later this month to visit peers in Arizona, in hopes of emulating that state’s controversial new immigration law. But Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen says immigration suffers when it’s used as a “political football.”
This spring, Tennessee’s legislature passed a resolution praising the Arizona law, and several state lawmakers plan to deliver that message of support as part of the trip. They say the government isn’t paying for the visit, where they’ll also take a seminar detailing the new immigration law.
“That has no meaning besides political grandstanding; I wish they wouldn’t do it. I don’t think it puts Tennessee in the best possible light, and I certainly don’t think it contributes to a long-term solution to this problem.”
Last week the New York Times quoted Bredesen as saying the issue of immigration distracts from jobs at a key time for Democrats, and calling it a “toxic subject.”