September 6, 2006
Governor Phil Bredesen signed an executive order today that makes a law passed by the most recent Tennessee Assembly immediately enforceable. The law aims to hold private companies with state contracts responsible for the immigration verification of all employees, subject to inspection by state monitors. Contractors and subcontractors are now required to submit quarterly reports affirming that they do not employ unauthorized workers. Violations of the law can lead to suspension of state contracts. Ironically, while the executive order commented on the burden of unauthorized workers on state resources, the state’s resources are about to be much more burdened by the absence of unauthorized workers in the form of higher costs and longer work schedules.